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Bolden asserts scoring prowess as Filipinas drub Chinese Taipei in Olympic qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines — Sarina Bolden continued to increase her lead over Quinley Quezada as the Filipinas’ all-time leading scorer after tallying a brace in the Philippines' 4-1 win over Chinese Taipei during the 2nd round of the AFC Olympic Qualifying Tournament at HBF Park in Perth, Australia on Thursday.

Bolden scored her 27th and 28th goals with the national team as she steered the team to a dominating win over their foes whom they last won over in January 2022, when they clinched their spot in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup during the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India.

The forward first scored the crucial equalizer at the 54th minute, when she slotted in the penalty after Meryll Serrano was tripped inside the box by a Taiwanese defender.

It erased their foes’ earlier goal and advantage, as Hsu Yi-yun pulled Chinese Taipei shortly after the halftime break.

Hsu’s conversion jolted the Filipinas awake as they ended scoring four goals in the last 40 minutes of play. 

Katrina Guillou, after being flagged offside for an earlier goal, put the Filipinas permanently ahead when she converted off of a beautiful touch pass from skipper Tahnai Annis at the 61st minute.

Bolden then found the back of the net anew in the 83rd minute to complete her brace, before substitute Chandler McDaniel added the icing on the cake with a goal near the end of 90 minutes.

With the result, the Filipinas head into their mega clash against Australia with three points and a +3 goal difference.

Of note, only the three group winners and the best second placed team move on to the next round of qualifiers, meaning goal difference may become a crucial tiebreaker for teams.

The Filipinas face off against Australia on October 29, Sunday, at the Perth Stadium.