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Filipinas ousted from SEA Games medal contention despite win vs. Vietnam

Hali Long won it late for the Filipinas, but it was not enough to propel them to the semis. PFF
By Gil Moriones

MANILA—The Philippine women's football team's effort to chase another historic milestone was not enough as they failed to progress to the semifinals of the SEA Games Women's Football despite their 2-1 victory against defending champion Vietnam, Tuesday night at the RSN Stadium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The goal difference was the root cause of their missed chance to upgrade their podium finish as the said score line against their co-debutant in the Women's World Cup was insufficient to provide their needs to sustain their medal hopes. 

Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines all finished with six points with identical two wins and a loss, but Vietnam and Myanmar advanced as they have better goal differences, compared to the Philippines. 

On a positive note, the goals produced by Sarina Bolden and Hali Long technically helped the national XIs beat the Golden Star Women Warriors for the second time around since 2022 in the AFF Women's Championship semifinals. 

Bolden's penalty conversion opened the floodgates of the match, after Bella Flaginan was fouled from the chase by the Vietnamese keeper Tran Tin Kim Thanh, and the latter was booked a yellow. 

With her goal produced straight from the penalty box in the 12th minute, she already recorded two goals to end their run including her heroic header vs. Malaysia. 

However, in the 40th minute of the important match, Vietnam equalized as Nguyen Tin Bich Thuy spotted the weakest link in defense of the Filipinas as she booted the ball into the top corner after a miscue to lob it away by Sofia Harrison. 

The first half ended 1-1 until it was broken by Hali Long through her header from a feed of Sara Eggesvik in the 83rd minute. 

Despite their lead, the Filipinas rushed to claim their third goal which required them to qualify for the next stage but time ran out on them and Vietnam together with Myanmar, who won against Malaysia in a 5-1 score, will qualify for the semis. 

Follow him on Twitter: @gilpuyatstation

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