THE Philippines took the leadership in Group A of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-14 Girls Regional Championship after beating host and erstwhile group leader Vietnam the other night at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

The Philippines walked away with the slight 1-0 victory after Lindsay Whaley hit the lone goal in the 28th minute of regulation.

The Philippines was playing Cambodia as of press time and only needed a draw in their last elimination round match to advance into the semi-finals, Vietnam was up against winless Singapore in the other Group A match.

The Philippines as of Wednesday was at the top of the table with six points from a 2-0-0 win-draw-loss slate, followed by Vietnam with three points and is just up ahead on goal differential over Cambodia. Singapore is last with no points.

On the other side of the table, Thailand is still at the top with three points and is just ahead of Myanmar on goal differential. Malaysia is at the bottom with no points from two losses.

The semi-finals will be on Saturday at the Thong Nhat Stadium, wherein the top two teams of both groups will face each other in a do-or-die crossover.

The Philippines Girls Under-14 squad has three Cebuanas in the roster – forward Itsuko Bacatan, midfielder Arantxa Trebol and defender Jan Jumawan.

Bacatan and Trebol were impressive offensively for the Philippines scoring three of the six goals in a 6-0 win over Singapore.

Bacatan, Trebol and Jumawan are all starters for the Philippines Girls Under-14 squad.