Bolden header powers Filipinas past Australia

MANILA, Philippines -- Sarina Bolden found the back of the net at the 60th minute mark to give the lone goal of the match as the Filipinas opened their 2022 AFF Women's Championship campaign on a high note on a rainy Monday night, July 4 here at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Filipinas huddle after Sarina Bolden scored at the 60th minute mark against Australia in their 2022 AFF Women's Championship opener at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on a rainy Monday night, July 4. (PFF)

Not even the continuous drizzle could stop Bolden from powering the national women's football team, scoring the header off an Eva Madarang throw in.

The Philippines earned three points with the win and is currently tied with Thailand, which, at the same time over at Binan Football Stadium, routed Indonesia, 4-0.

Bolden actually had another good shot but the attempt went too strong as the ball went over the post.

"That's more than a big win. It's amazing to beat a team that's been in the Top 10 of the world for the last 10 years? Been up to No. 4," said Filipinas head coach Alen Stajcic.

"For us to beat them just shows how far this team has come so I'm really proud of them. But it's the first game of the tournament. It's a long way to go," added the Aussie mentor.

The Filipinas clamped down on their defense down the stretch as goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel secured numerous strikes from the Aussies, including a clean attempt from Sheridan Gallagher.

Madarang also had a crucial steal in the waning minutes which paved the way for a swift strike from Sara Eggesvik but Australian goalie Jada Mathyssen-Whyman handily caught the ball.

Earlier at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Singapore and Malaysia settled for a scoreless draw.