MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine women’s national football team started their quest for a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics with a 4-0 victory over Pakistan in the AFC Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Hisor Central Stadium in Tajikistan on Wednesday.
The Filipinas scored three goals in quick succession in the first half before the returning Chandler McDaniel hit an insurance goal with five minutes to go as the Philippines nailed all three points in their first Group E assignment.
Against a much-lower ranked Pakistani side, the No. 49-rated Filipinas dictated the pace and possession early.
In the 22nd minute, the floodgates opened for the Filipinas after Hali Long headed in the ball past Pakistani keeper Rumaysa Jihad Khan.
Sarina Bolden found Long near the goal after a scramble for the ball off of a corner.
Bolden then doubled the lead not long after when she headed in her own goal at the 25th minute mark. She made up for a missed opportunity earlier after 16 minutes of play when she failed to convert from point blank range off of a volley.
Eva Madarang, who coincidentally made her debut back in 2017 in Tajikistan, added the Philippines’ third goal off of a screamer from outside the box near the half hour mark.
Though the Filipinas remained aggressive for most of the match, it wasn’t until the second half that they would add to their goals.
McDaniel made her first appearance for the national team for the first time since her ACL injury in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India in January of last year when she was subbed in for Bolden at the 60th minute.
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When she got on the pitch, it was obvious the Filipinas had her marked for scoring opportunities.
And the opportunities did come for McDaniel, including a volley in front of goal off of a pass from Anicka Castaneda at the 79th minute. But McDaniel, with a little jitter in her foot sent it wide right.
But the time came finally for McDaniel after 85 minutes of play when Quinley Quezada found the forward on a run on goal. Off of a perfect through ball, Quezada was able to deliver the ball right on the spot for McDaniel as she was able to score the Philippines fourth goal, 4-nil.
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