THE PHILIPPINES walloped host Tajikistan, 8-0, to stay atop Group E and move closer to the second round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Saturday in Hisor.
The Filipinas bombarded the home side with six goals in the first half then sub Chandler McDaniel netted a brace to complete the rout, a rousing follow up to the opening 4-0 shutout of Pakistan on Holy Wednesday.
Sofia Harrison (26’), skipper Tahnai Annis (28’), Carleigh Frilles (31’), Quinley Quezada (35’), Meryll Serrano (38’) and Maya Alcantara (45+3’) took turns blasting it home before Ms. McDaniel scored her double in the 60th and 89th.
With six points and a goal difference (GD) of 12, the reigning Asean titlists kept pole position ahead of fellow unbeaten Hong Kong (six points and 5 GD).
Alen Stajcic’s charges face off with Hong Kong on Tuesday to dispute the right to join the six other group winners from Round 1 into the next stage of the Paris 2024 qualifiers.
Round 2 will pit the first-round survivors with seeded teams North Korea, Japan, Australia, China and South Korea.
The three group winners and the best-ranked runner-up of this phase will progress to Round 3 to play two pairs of home-and-away matches with the victors eventually earning their tickets to Paris. — Olmin Leyba