4 p.m. – Thailand vs. Singapore (Group B m)
(Rizal Memorial Stadium) lynforever25
4 p.m. – Laos vs. Brunei vs. Laos (Group B m)
8 p.m. – Vietnam vs. Indonesia (Group B m)
MANILA, Philippines — THE Philippines scored a double kill last Friday night, sweeping Malaysia in the men’s and women’s divisions of the 30th SEA Games football championships in separate venues in contrasting fashion.
Between them, the Malditas, starring striker Sarina Bolden, shone brightest in swamping the Malaysians, 5-0, advancing them to a historic semifinal appearance in the sports fest with their first win in Group A at the Binan Stadium in Laguna.
Bolden was a one-woman wrecking crew, netting a hat-trick in the 24th, 41st and 47th minutes of the first half that pushed the hosts to an imposing 4-0 lead at the break that virtually settled the issue. Alisha del Campo scored the other goal in the 38th.
Fellow striker Eva Madarang booted in the final goal in the 93rd minute as the Filipinas finished off the Malaysians, who absorbed their first loss, with a flourish.
The win put the Malditas on top of the group with four points while the idle Burmese remained in second spot in the three-team group.
The Pinay footballers reached the semifinals for the first time of the women’s tourney after failing to go past the group stage in their last four stints in the competition dating back to the 2005 Philippine Games.
The thrills, however, were provided by the Young Azkals, who nipped Malaysia, 1-0, reminiscent of the country’s upset of their opponents by the same score 28 years ago in the 1991 Manila SEA Games also at the heritage-rich Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Skipper Stephan Schrock scored the winning goal, swirling his kick from the right corner past a phalanx of Malaysian defenders in the 74th minute while fellow veteran Amani Aguinaldo bullied his way in the goalmouth scramble to make sure that the ball would go in.
After a stinging 1-2 loss to the Burmese two days ago, the Young Azkals’ were back in semifinal contention with their first win in three matches, boosting them to third place in Group A with four points.
Myanmar dumped Timor Leste, 3-1, in the other match to seize top spot in the group with seven points with Cambodia in second spot also with four points but ahead of the Philippines on goal difference. The Malaysians were fourth with one point while the winless Timorese were in the cellar.
The victories by both PH sides were a fitting gift for Mariano Araneta Jr., who was re-elected as Philippine Football Federation for a third term by beating Negros Oriental Football Association president Ricky Yanzon 25-12 just hours earlier at the nearby Century Park Hotel.
The Young Azkals take a long break before capping their campaign against the Timorese on Dec. 4.
Sports action takes a respite with the formal opening of the sports fest on Saturday at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan before resuming on Sunday, with football featuring a triple bill of Group B matches at the Rizal Stadium and Binan Stadium, respectively. (LO/IAMIGO/CNS)