At this point, the Philippine women’s national football team should just bring a history book wherever they go from now on as they bag historic feats left and right as seen in their recent AFF championship win.
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: sports in the Philippines shouldn’t be limited to just the mainstream like basketball and volleyball. As we’ve seen, the country is home to many athletes who can and have excelled in sports that typically aren’t in the national spotlight or get the attention and support it deserves. One such example is the country’s women’s football team who, despite playing a sport that isn’t the most accessible to most Filipinos, have proven consistently that they are an A-tier team. They have made history before and they have done so again with their historic win at the recently concluded AFF Women’s Championship.
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER WIN
On July 17, the Philippine women’s national football team made their way to the field at the Rizal Memorial Stadium with the hopes of etching their names in the columns of Philippine sports history. It was the championship game and they were up against Thailand. That potential win though was anything but a cakewalk, because up until that point in the competition, Thailand remained undefeated. In fact, it was Thailand who gave the team their only loss of the competition at 0-1. But after starting their games with a surprise win against Australia and upsetting defending champions Vietnam at the semi-finals, anything was possible.
And true enough, that happened when they won against Thailand with a dominant 3-0 score, handing Thailand their first and only loss of the competition. You could say this win was their way to avenge their lose to Thailand earlier in the season. Myanmar meanwhile shocked Vietnam to defeat them at 4-3 to claim the bronze medal. Team Philippine’s Jessika Cowart, Katrina Guillou, and Sarina Bolden proved to be some of the biggest stars of the night as they all scored goals against Thailand’s strong defenses.
ONE FOR THE HERSTORY BOOKS
With their win of the AFF Women Championship, the women’s national team not only claimed their first international trophy, but also the country’s first trophy from a competition under the AFF. The win was made even better with the fact that it was on home turf and over 8000 fans got to witness the historic feat. Back in February of this year, the team made history when they claimed a historic spot to play at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. In doing so, they became the first team from the country to play in a FIFA World Cup, ever. And in the 31st SEA Games, the Filipinas bagged a bronze medal, their first in 37 years. It’s clear that the team are far from done with breaking barriers.
At this point, it’s safe to say that the women’s national football team are the new queens of Southeast Asian football and should no longer be underestimated moving forward. The moment should also serve as another lesson that there are other sports out there deserving of our time and support. It’s a much deserved win for a group of hardworking women as they keep on making history at the football pitch. And, more importantly, it’s a feat that may inspire the next generation of young girls to pursue football, even as just a recreational sport. Congratulations on the win girls! Wear that new title with pride and hopefully they can bring that historic energy when they play in the FIFA World Cup on July 2023.