Myanmar, Chinese-Taipei advance in AFC U-19
MANILA, Philippines – Myanmar and Chinese-Taipei advanced to the second round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Women's Qualifiers after emerging as the top two squads in the four-team Group C first round qualifiers.
The tournament ended with top-ranked Myanmar winning all three of its matches, while Chinese-Taipei came in second with two wins and one loss.
The Philippines had one win and two losses, while Hong Kong lost all three of its matches.
In their last match, Myanmar sealed their AFC U-19 Women’s qualifiers appearance with a landslide 8-0 victory over Hong Kong.
The first half saw a five-goal outbreak that included a hat-trick by the tournament's leading scorer, May Thu Kyaw, and a brace by forward Nilar Win. The Hong Kong backline committed successive errors that led to three goals in just four minutes.
Myanmar's goal-scoring resumed when midfielder Win Theingi Tun scored two long-range goals both in the 59th minute. Nilar Win then completed her own hat-trick eight minutes before time.
Meanwhile, the Philippines failed to advance to the next qualifying round after a heartbreaking 0-1 setback to Chinese-Taipei in a do-or-die match for the final spot.
Dominating the first half, the Philippines managed to deny several attempts – including a crucial save from midfielder Pearl Jean Aguilar who cleared a breakaway ball that went past their goalkeeper milliseconds before it could cross the goal line.
But despite their defensive efforts, the Philippines surrendered the lone goal of the match 10 minutes before halftime, when unmarked Chinese Taipei Pan Yen Hsin lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Inna Palacios.
The second half saw the Philippines struggle for an equalizer. Despite numerous set plays by forward Cristina delos Reyes and midfielder Camille Rodriguez, the impenetrable Chinese-Taipei defense kept attemps at bay.
Chinese-Taipei head coach Ju Wen-Bin commended the Philippines for putting up a good fight.
"What made our team win were control, action and play. We set the bar to three goals. The Philippine team played well. They are becoming a strong team," Wen-Bin said.
Meanwhile, Myanmar head coach Kumada Yoshinori admitted that he was in high spirits entering their final match.
"Although we knew that we had already passed on to the next round, we did not adjust our style of play. We wanted more than eight goals," he said.
"Our team is still very week. We will train our players to adapt to modern styles of play," he added.
Chinese-Taipei and Myanmar now move on to the next round of the qualifiers. The AFC U-19 Women’s Championships will determine the three Asian teams that will take part in the Under-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup. -- by Kathleen Tantuico