It is Philippines versus Thailand for all the marbles in the 2014 AFC U14 Girls’ Regional Championship for the ASEAN region after both teams hurdled their respective semifinal opponents. The pair will enter the finals as the 2 remaining undefeated teams in the tournament. The Philippines topped Group A by beating Singapore, Vietnam, and Cambodia while Thailand dominated Malaysia and Myanmar. The Philippines won 2-1 over Myanmar in their semifinal match while Thailand survived a rugged game against hosts and defending champions Vietnam, 2-0.
In the Philippines-Myanmar tiff, it was Myanmar that struck first in the 9th minute with a goal by Hnin Mya Thazin. The Philippines got an equalizer 5 minutes later courtesy of a goal from Itsuko Maree Bacatan. The game was knotted at 1 apiece for more than 50 minutes until Joyce Omboy Semacio struck the game winner at the 66th minute sending the Philippines to the finals.
The Thailand vs. Vietnam match was also very competitive. Dassama broke the ice for Thailand by scoring in the 15th minute. Tipkritta sealed the deal for the Thais after scoring from a penalty in 54th minute. The Thais have maintained a clean so far throughout the tournament.
Thailand will be the favorites in the championship match but they cannot underestimate the gritty Philippine side who only conceded 1 goal in 4 games. A victory by the Philippines in the finals would be historic in nature and could encourage the nation’s leadership to continue supporting and developing football in a country long dominated by basketball. The third place battle will also be tough as the dethroned Vietnamese would try to salvage their campaign with big win over Myanmar in the battle for 3rd