THE Philippines Women’s National Team advanced to the second round of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024 Asia Qualifiers after finishing at the top of Group E with another performance in Tajikistan.

The Philippines outclassed Hong Kong, 4-0, on April 11, 2023 at the Hisor Stadium in Hisor.

Forward Sarina Bolden carried the scoring load for the Filipinas with a brace, while Meryll Serrano and Quinley Quezada also joined in on the action.

Bolden, who plays club football for the Western Sydney Wanderers, scored the opener in the fifth minute from a pass by fellow forward Katrina Guillou.

Bolden doubled the lead with her second goal in the 41st minute after scoring near the top corner from a pass by Sara Eggesvik.

Serrano converted a free kick at 30 yards away in the 44th minute to give the Filipinas a commanding 3-0 lead at halftime.

Queza then made it 4-0 with a goal in the 53rd minute.

“I thought we played well, we controlled the game well, probably our best control we’ve had this week here against a good opposition, an opposition 15 months ago we beat only 2-1 in the last minute,” Alen Stajcic said in a report posted at the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) website.

“It just shows how much we’ve improved. A large part of the game was pretty good, but our finishing has to be better if we want to compete with the big nations in Asia. We’ve improved a lot but there’s still a lot of hard work to do.”

The Philippines dominated Group E with lopsided wins over Pakistan (4-0), Tajikistan (8-0) and Hong Kong.

The Philippines advances to the second round along with other group winners Uzbekistan, Iran, Vietnam, Thailand, Chinese Taipei and India. The winners will be joined by the five highest ranked Asian teams—Australia, Japan, China, South Korea and North Korea.

“We know we’re coming up against big nations now in the next round, Australia, Japan, China and the two Koreas plus Thailand and Vietnam,” said Stajcic. “It’s going to be very difficult for us and we need to be ready.”