Filipinas beat Iran on Annis’ lone goal, but Olympic fate remains uncertain
MANILA, Philippines — Skipper Tahnai Annis scored the game’s only goal as the Filipinas beat Iran, 1-nil, to end their group stage campaign in the second round of the AFC Olympic Qualifying Tournament at HBF Park in Perth, Australia on Wednesday.
With six points, the Filipinas are technically still in the running for an Olympic spot, but will need multiple results to go their way to finish as the best runner-up team across the three groups.
Annis found the back off the net in the 19th minute when she converted off of Iran keeper Zahra Khajavi’s save on a shot by Sofia Harrison to pull the Filipinas ahead, 1-nil.
But the Filipinas struggled to finish against Khajavi all game long as the latter denied multiple attempts by star striker Sarina Bolden.
The Iranians also forced the issue on offense, with their best attempt coming in the 53rd minute, when a Zahra Ghanbari try hit the woodwork to keep the score in favor of the Filipinas.
Fortunately for the Filipinas, Olivia McDaniel, like her Iran counterpart, provided timely saves to keep the three points for the Filipinas.
Now with their three games all done and dusted, the Filipinas turn their eyes to the remaining matches in the other groups.
The Filipinas will need South Korea and China to draw in their match, while India wins or draws against Uzbekistan, and finally, have Japan win or draw against Vietnam.
Goal difference for the Filipinas currently stands at -4, and to move on to the next round, it’ll be best that no other second-ranked team in either Group B or C to reach six points as well.
Only the three group winners and the best second placed team move on to the final round of Olympic qualifying.