PH beats Iran in Women’s AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 opener

By Kevin Sox

The Philippine women’s football national team got off to a rousing start in the second round of the AFC Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers after beating Iran, 2-nil in their group match Thursday (Manila time) at the Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The Filipinas bucked off a scoreless first half and found the back of the net twice in the first 10 minutes of the second half to gain control.

Joyce Semacio broke the ice in the 48th minute after volleying one past the Iranian keeper for the match’s opening goal.

Just a few moments later, it was Alisha Del Campo slotting in another successful attempt off a quality assist from Sara Castaneda in the 52nd minute.

It was enough cushion for the Philippines towards the end as they eventually booked the three points.

The 23-strong national team led by head coach Let Dimzon is composed of Stacey Cavill, Inna Palacios, Kimberly Parina, Analou Amita, Mea Bernal, Alesa Dai Dalino, Chelo Hodges, Mary Harriette Lam, Hali Long, Christina Montelibano, Hannah Faith Pachejo, Tara Shelton, Calah Simarago, Patricia Tomanon, Sara Castaneda, Patrice Impelido, Loreta Ladero, Rocelle Mendano, Irish Navaja, Camille Rodriguez, Alisha Del Campo, Eva Madarang, and Joyce Semacio.

The Philippines will next face group leader Chinese Taipei on April 7 before rounding out their campaign against Palestine on April 10.

Only the top nation in the group will advance further into the third round of the Olympic Qualifiers.

Should the Filipinas beat the odds and continue their journey, they shall go up against even tougher squads in the continent.

Only tickets to Tokyo are up for grabs for the entire Asia-Pacific region.