In 12 matches the Philippines had not defeated South East Asian rivals Thailand. On Friday, they ended the long wait with a 1-0 win to get a rousing start to their campaign in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium here.
Chandler McDaniel scored the winner in the 81st minute of the Group B encounter as the Philippines boosted their hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals, while Thailand were left to rue their missed chances.
The Philippines, who came into the tie having not beaten Thailand in 12 previous attempts, started on the front foot but soon found themselves defending as the match progressed.
Thailand, Women’s Asian Cup winners in 1983 when they beat India in the final, got into the action in the second minute when Saowalak Pengngam set up Miranda Nild but the forward’s left-footed shot from inside the box was deflected.
Orapin Waenngoen then tried her luck from distance off Phonphirun Philawan’s lay off, but her shot failed to test Philippines’ goalkeeper Olivia Davies-McDaniel.
The Philippines, who have come to India after a two-month camp in the United States, though they had taken the lead when Katrina Guillou smashed the ball into the back of the net against the run-off play, but Thailand custodian Waraporn Boonsing breathed a sigh of relief after the goal was ruled out.
Sensing the game slipping from their grasp, Thailand increased the intensity of their attacks and came close to scoring in the 14th minute when Nipawan Panyosuk forced a save from Davies-McDaniel.
The Philippines tried to power their way through in the 35th minute with Tahnai Annis sending a cross to Quinley Quezada, whose shot from 35 yards was saved by Davies-McDaniel.
Both teams continued to toil in front of the goal as the score remained 0-0 going into the break.
Thailand could have found the back of the net after the restart when Saowalak Pengngam teed up Nutwadee Pram-nak nicely at the edge of the area but the midfielder’s effort was easily saved by Davies-McDaniel.
Despite being reduced to counter-attacks, the Philippines had two clear-cut chances just after the hour mark with Quinley Quezada and Chandler McDaniel both just failing to find the target from inside the box.
The Philippines, however, finally broke the deadlock through McDaniel in the 81st minute when the forward’s drive from 20 yards saw Boonsing fail to hold on to the ball as it trickled across the goal line.
The Philippines will be aiming to secure their second win in a row when they face Australia on Monday, while Thailand meet Indonesia later in the day.