Philamlife 7S Women’s Football: Stallion-Hiraya F.C., Outkast Clinch Semis Spots
There was no shortage of intense action in the last match day of the elimination phase of the first-ever Philam Life 7s Women’s Football League at the McKinley Hill Stadium, as four teams secured spots to the semi-finals.
Match Day no. 7 for the women’s division featured massive blowouts left and right, with the Bohemian Sporting Club and Manila Nomads sealing the top seeds heading into the semi-finals.
Bohemian S.C. posted the most impressive clean sheet of all of Season 3 of the Philam Life 7s Football League festivities, annihilating Young Pinay 10-0. It was the biggest winning margin in either men’s or women’s division in the current season, and it enabled B.S.C. to finish with the top overall seed in the women’s division.
They were able to take advantage of Young Pinay’s early defensive mishaps as they poured in four goals in the first half. Cathy Aihunu led the charge in the second half, helping the team score six more. Overall, she scored five goals in total to lead all scorers.
Coach Ava Africa reminded her players to always be hungry and not let their past success get into their heads, especially going into the semifinals as the higher seeded club.
“We didn’t change anything because it’s working for us so far. We never let our [past] success get in our heads,” said Africa.
“Most of these players are experienced and I think it’s just reminding them to forget the past success and focus on what we have now. It’s always about building their confidence because as soon as you reach the semis, these teams are really good,” added Africa.
Outkast F.C. came up ultimately short of matching B.S.C.’s milestone, but they nevertheless destroyed The Younghusbands Football Academy, 9-0. Outkast F.C. blew the game wide open right away in the first half, scoring five unanswered goals. They added four more in the second half, in what was their best game in the tournament.
Pressuring her wards was something manager Keuts Smith didn’t intend to do, but it has worked nonetheless, giving the team a sigh of relief momentarily.
“We were always starting out slow which is why we needed to win this game. Otherwise, we won’t qualify for the semis. I guess the girls felt the pressure and they delivered,” said Smith.
“We’re just going to try our best and whoever we’ll play against, it will be a tough game. I’m pleased that we’ll be qualified, and we’ll see where we go from here,” she added.
In the first match-up, the Manila Nomads trounced Sugod Malaya, 4-1. The Nomads scored all four of their goals in the first half, setting the tone for a dominant finish.
Kristine Cosgrove turned in her best performance of the tourney for Nomads, and she credited her coach for pushing her to improve every game.
“It’s a solid win. We scored 4-1, and you can’t be displeased with that. In the semis, it’s an all difficult stage. It doesn’t really matter who we play against. We’ll just go out there next week and look forward to doing the best we possibly can and try to get to the final,” said head coach Shane Cosgrove.
“It’s nerve-wracking because I want to impress him and everything but he’s a good coach. He teaches me a lot. I want to do good so he’d be proud of me,” said the younger Cosgrove.
Utilizing their balanced firepower, the Stallion-Hiraya F.C. finished the regular season by routing Payatas F.C., 7-1. After leading 5-0 in the first half, Stallions-Hiraya F.C. chipped in two more goals to add more to their goal total.
With national team stalwarts Cam Rodriguez and Natasha Alquiros leading the way, squad’s confidence is as high as ever, just in time for the upcoming semifinals.
“It’s a plus that I played with them two years ago and it’s a plus that they are the same faces and we played in the UAAP,” said Rodriguez.
“Everyone really wanted to get back; everyone is so focused today. Our confidence is really much higher now compared to when the league started. We joined 7s to win. The best way to play is to win. When you win, you’re having fun,” said Alquiros.
The semi-finals of the women’s division will commence next Sunday, May 5 with explosive match-ups ahead as Bohemian will face Stallion-Hiraya while the Manila Nomads will battle Outkast F.C.
Women’s 7s Football League Match Day 7 results
- Nomads 4, Sugod Malaya 1
- Bohemian S.C. 10, Young Pinay 0
- Stallions-Hiraya F.C. 7, Payatas F.C. 1
- Outkast F.C. 9, TYFA 0