Malditas earn first 2018 Women’s Asian Cup win, Thailand lose to China

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

A second piece of good news for Philippines football as the women’s national team claim their first win at the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup over host nation Jordan.

Following the Azkals’ historical qualification for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, their female compatriots made it a fortnight to remember in their AFC Women’s Asian Cup Group A match against Jordan.

After a spectacular opening ceremony, the Malditas wasted little time and matched the host nation stride for stride to seal a 2-1 win at the Amman International Stadium.

Jordan opened proceedings in the 11th minute through striker Maysa Jbarah who put the ball past goalkeeper Kearra Bastes-Jones after a lovely ball over the defence from captain Stephanie Al-Naber.

The Malditas came out for the second half refusing to give up and levelled the score on 51 minutes when Jordan centre-back Yasmeen Khair headed into her own net under pressure from Sarina Bolden.

Jordan thought they had the lead back again with 18 minutes to play when Lana Feras scored but the referee ruled out the goal for an earlier foul.

That paved the way for a dramatic winner from Bolden four minutes later as she ghosted past the entire home defence and drilled the ball past a hapless Salma Ghazal in goal.

Philippines held firm till the final whistle and now sit in second place behind China PR who managed a 4-0 win against Thailand in the earlier match.

Goals from Wang Shuang and Li Ying along with a brace from Song Duan gave the Steel Roses top spot in Group A.

With the top five teams from this tournament qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Thailand and Jordan will need to find their feet and put some points on the board quickly.

All four nations will now prepare for their second Group A matches on Monday April 9 at the King Abdullah II Stadium. Philippines are up against China PR while Thailand take on Jordan.