Philippines beat rivals Vietnam, but crash out of regional games

Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy (left) and <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Philippines;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Philippines</a>' captain <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Hali Long;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Hali Long</a>, who both scored for their respective sides
Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy (left) and Philippines' captain Hali Long, who both scored for their respective sides

The Philippines women's football team battled to a 2-1 win over rivals Vietnam Tuesday in the meeting of their region's two World Cup-bound teams, but still crashed out of the Southeast Asian Games on goal difference.

In an at-times-rough encounter, Thi Bich Thuy Nguyen cancelled out Sarina Bolden's converted penalty in the first half, before Filipinas captain Hali Long secured the three points with an 82nd-minute goal.

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But that proved insufficient, as Myanmar battered Malaysia 5-1 in the other Group A game to progress as runners-up to Vietnam, San Thaw Thaw and July Kyaw with a brace each.

The Philippines' next major engagement will be the World Cup in July and August in Australia and New Zealand.

And coach Alen Stajcic said beating one of Asia's top teams for the second time in a row -- after a 4-0 win over Vietnam last year -- showed "we can compete at this level".

"The next step of our evolution is to do it every game," he said, after a group stage hobbled by a 1-0 opening loss to Myanmar.


"It's still a very, very young team. I know that we've got a lot more good times ahead of us."

In Group B, Thailand beat Cambodia 3-0 to go through as winners.

They will play Myanmar in the semi-finals, while Cambodia face Vietnam.

Singapore beat Laos 2-1 to take third place.

The semi-finals will be played on May 12, with the final three days later.