PH Malditas end AFC Asian Cup run after loss to South Korea

The PH Malditas had a hard time penetrating against the tough Korean defense (AFC photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Philippine women’s football team ended their magical run after bowing down to South Korea, 0-2, during the semifinals of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

It was an overwhelming experience against the mighty Korean attack after absorbing two quick goals in just the first 45 minutes of action.

The Koreans quickly got on the board in the 3:35 mark of the match after Cho So-Hyun successfully headed a corner cross pass from the right side of the pitch.

Eager to follow up after drawing first blood, the Koreans kept on with their offensive pressure and fired more attempts but the PH Malditas’ goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel was able to pile up the saves.

The Malditas had the chance to equalize in the 32:06 mark of the match but Sarina Bolden’s backside header inside the penalty area went to the side of the goal post.

A minute after the Bolden attempt, Korea went on to double their lead after Choo Hyo-Joo’s perfect dribbling that freed her up for a well-placed cross pass to Son Hwa-Yeon who just tapped the ball inside the Malditas’ goal post.

Despite the flat Korean offense in the next 45 minutes of action, the Filipinas failed to convert a single goal that would’ve equalized the match or win it if they scored three.

This will still go down as the best football run in PH women’s history after clinching their first-ever FIFA World Cup qualification as well as their first AFC Asian Cup playoff berth.

Meanwhile, in the other bracket, the Chinese national team outlasted Japan, 2-2 (4-3) in an intense penalty shootout.