Filipinas, Chileans forge draw

Defender Jessika Cowart fights for control of the ball during the Filipinas’ friendly match with Chile.

The national women’s football team failed to sustain its momentum as it settled for a 1-1 draw with Chile in their friendly match at the Estadio Sausalito in Viña del Mar Sunday morning.

Hali Long lit up the scoreboard with a header in the 26th minute off a free kick by Sara Eggesvik to give the Filipinas a 1-0 lead.

The visitors looked like they could walk away with a shocking victory against the powerhouse team from South America, but Sonya Keefe slotted home a header in the 84th minute to tie the count.

Sarina Bolden tried to pump life into the Filipinas but her 90th-minute attempt just soared over the bar, sealing the draw in their first of two friendly matches in preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in August next year.

The Filipinas are slotted in Group A with co-host New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

On the other hand, Chile is using this match as preparation for its playoff match in February in a bid to secure a World Cup slot.

Long said she was grateful for the opportunity to face the La Roja Feminina, who rank No. 38 in the latest FIFA ranking, as the experience they gained, as well as that from their first friendly match against Costa Rica, will be useful when the see action in the World Cup next year.

“Overall, we had an excellent performance. Definitely had really good momentum from Costa Rica and it was a huge challenge against Chile,” Long said, adding that she was so focused on the goal that she didn’t know that nobody was guarding her.

“I didn’t know I was unmarked. It was just me, Sara and the ball.”

The Filipinas get another chance to beat Chile when they collide anew on 15 November at the Estadio Municipal de La Pintana in the Chilean commune of La Pintana.

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