Game Tuesday (Smart RNS Stadium) 4 p.m. Philippines vs Vietnam
PHNOM PENH: The Philippine national women's football team is in a must-win situation when it takes on defending champion Vietnam in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at the Smart RNS Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
A win against the reigning champs will hand the team, collectively known as the Filipinas, a ticket to the semifinals, where they can hope to surpass their bronze-medal finish in Vietnam last year.
The Filipinas, who kept their hopes alive following a 1-0 win over Malaysia on Saturday, can't afford a draw, because it may give Myanmar a chance to go for semis slot.
“We have to win now to stay alive in the tournament. It's a must-win game for us. Vietnam, we've beaten them once in our history,” said Filipinas' coach Allen Stajcic.
The Filipinas were handed a 1-2 defeat by Vietnam at the latter's home turf during last year's 31st SEA Games.
But the Philippines got back at its tormentors in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Women's Championship with a massive 4-0 win in the semifinals, before stunning Thailand, 3-0, to run away with the crown before a delirious hometown crowd in Manila.
Vietnam is currently on top of Group A, following its 3-1 triumph over Myanmar.
“It's a tough game. They're on top of the group. So we have to win and we have to win well to stay alive,” added Stajcic
It was Sarina Bolden's late goal which lifted the Filipinas to the victory over Malaysia on Saturday night. It was her 21st goal in 34 appearances for the national team.
“Sarina is classic example of someone who just dug really deep to find the winner and inspire the team and kept us alive by the skin of our teeth,” said Stajcic.
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