Bolden hat-trick takes Philippines to AFF semis


Sarina Bolden dazzles as the Philippines women’s soccer team earn a win over Indonesia to clinch a semi-final berth

MANILA, Philippines — Sarina Bolden kicked a hat trick as the Philippines women’s soccer team fought back against Indonesia, 4-1, to clinch their second consecutive AFF Women’s Championship semi-final on Sunday. July 10 at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

After conceding their first goal of the tournament, the Philippines kept their composure and prevailed in the final 45 minutes.

“It didn’t scare us to go down, we’re proud to have recovered,” said Bolden, who scored three goals in 10 minutes.

Indonesia scared the hosts. After Filipina Chantelle Maniti fired the ball back to goalkeeper Inna Palacios to reset the game, Indonesian Carlo Bio Pattinasarany suddenly closed the goalkeeper and shoved the ball home to give them a surprising 1-0 lead at the 37th minute.

The Philippines, however, came out with more energy in the second half.

Team captain Tahnai Annis equalized in the 46th minute after hitting Sofia Harrison’s cross for her first touch, then smashed the ball past Prihatini, the Indonesian keeper, for her second touch.

Sara Eggesvik and Bolden continued the Philippines’ comeback after a superb combined play in the 57th minute to take the lead.

Eggesvik dribbled past several defenders and found her teammate inside the box as Bolden netted her first goal with an easy kick.

Bolden’s second goal in the 63rd was similar to Annis’ equalizer as she controlled Jaclyn Sawicki’s cross with a neat touch before firing from close range.

Katrina Guillou then netted a 66th-minute assist as she created a brilliant through ball to help Bolden complete his hat-trick.

The Philippines’ latest triumph extended their winning streak to four games, while taking their total points in the group stage to 12 with a goal difference of +15.

Indonesia, meanwhile, pulled out of the competition with 1 point and a goal difference of -11 in Group A.

Before conceding the shocking first goal, the Philippines took turns testing Prihatini but the hosts couldn’t break the deadlock.

Annis had her shot saved in the 7th minute, while Jessica Miclat’s long shot six minutes later failed to produce a goal.

Bolden and Anicka Castañeda joined in the shooting festivities, but the two players failed to break the deadlock as the Philippines entered half-time with a 1-0 deficit.

Philippines head coach Alen Stajcic made three half-time substitutions introducing Carleigh Frilles, Eggesvik and Guillou to change the momentum of the game.

It turned out to be a tactical masterclass from the Australian head coach as the three substitutes provided a burst of energy on the bench and gave the Philippines the boost they needed.

Camille Rodriguez, another second-half substitute, had a dynamic appearance producing two fine assists late in the game, but Bolden and Isabella Flanigan each missed chances to extend their 4-1 lead.

The Philippines will face Thailand in their final match of the group stage on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the same venue. – Rappler.com

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