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Young Filipinas clobber Indonesia for winning start to U17 Asian Cup

May 7 ------ The Philippine women's under-17 national team is off to a rousing start in the 2024 AFC U-17 Women's Asian Cup. The young Filipinas clobbered host nation Indonesia, 6-1, on Monday evening at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in the Gianyar Regency in Bali.


Alexa Pino grabbed a brace in the first half and Natalie Collins duplicated her effort in the second half to power the Philippines' rout. With the result, the young Filipinas are tied for the Group A lead with North Korea, which earlier overpowered South Korea, 7-0. Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout semifinals.


Pino gave the Philippines the lead just six minutes into the match, heading in a pinpoint cross from Ava Villapando. But Indonesia equalized in sensational fashion in the 12th minute, when Claudia Scheunemann blasted in a goal from outside the box that got past Bri Baker in goal. It would not take long for the Philippines to regain the lead. Jael-Marie Guy found the back of the net with a left-footed shot in the 22nd to give momentum back to the young Filipinas, and Ariana Markey added a third in the 29th to put them in full control.


Pino's second goal came in the 35th, and Collins fired two more in the 54th and 62nd to complete the scoring. Nina Mathelus, who came in to replace Pino in the 73rd, was unlucky not to score in the closing stages with one attempt going just wide left and another try hitting the post shortly before the final whistle. The young Filipinas, who are playing for the first time in the continental tournament, will face North Korea on May 9 at the Bali United Training Center.


The top three teams in the tournament will qualify for the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. Calling the shots for the Philippines in the tournament is Australian coach Sinisa Cohadzic. They prepared for the competition with a camp in Spain as well as friendlies against local clubs Manila Diggers FC and Kaya FC.



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