The 2022 AFF Women's Championship took place at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium which featured Philippines Women's National Football team versus Team Australia. The opposing team consisted of youthful players that matched the energy of Team Philippines. Scoring the only and winning goal of the match was Sarina Bolden who put the Philippines up a goal in the hour-mark on the lock.
The winning goal, a header from an assist by Eva Madarang just surpassed the hands of Aussie goal-keeper, Jada Mathyssen-Whyman. Coach Alen Stajcic called the win an "amazing result" and describing the performance from the players, "first class."
The last time the ladies played at Rizal Memorial Stadium was in 2019 against Myanmar, suffering a bronze medal loss in the Southeast Asian Games. This win marks redemption from that loss and shows the progress the team has made since then. With a close call towards the end of the match with Australia almost equalizing the match in the 70th minute, the Filipinas held on to their lead with their defense.
The win was witnessed by over 1,400 fans and all celebrated alongside the team. It's been the first time a crowd was invited back to the stadium since the team qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup and winning bronze in the 31st SEA Games.
Cover Photo Credit: Pilipinas WNFT Twitter
A reigning Olympic champion, Hidilyn Diaz defends her title in the women's 55kg diversion in this year's 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi. The Games initially scheduled for 2021 in Hanoi was postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic. With this win, she helps narrow the gap for the Philippines against Singapore and Indonesia for the third spot.
It's been 10 months since Hidilyn last stepped out for an international competition and only a few months after she battled with COVID-19 earlier this year. According to her coach, they tried a new training regiment and adopted sports science to help with her nutrition. The hard work paid off again as she won gold again Thai Sanikun Tanasan, keeping the gold streak alive and gets her one step closer to the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.
Cover Photo Credit: Hidilyn Diaz Instagram