By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

THE Philippine women’s national football team tries to go even deeper in the competition in the 30th Southeast Asian Games as it shoots for a spot in the finals against defending champion Vietnam today at the Binan Football Stadium in Laguna.

Set for 8 p.m., the Malditas (1-1-0) look move a step closer to winning the country’s first SEA Games gold in football against a formidable team in Vietnam, a five-time women’s champion, which topped Group B in group play with a record of 1-1-0.

The Philippines is coming off a huge 5-0 victory over Malaysia in its final game in Group A on Nov. 29.

Sarina Bolden scored a hat-trick against the Malaysians to help the Filipina booters secure their place in the semifinals.

Ms. Bolden all scored her goals in the opening half, striking first in the 25th minute and adding two more (42’ and 45+2’) as the first fold drew to a close.

Alisha del Campo added a goal in the 39th minute to make it a 4-0 count for the Malditas at the break.

Malaysia attempted to make the match competitive in the second half but the Philippines continued to be on top of things.

Eva Madarang put the finishing touches on the dominant win by scoring in added time for the 5-0 rout.

“To reach the semifinals is a huge accomplishment for us, especially since we are the host country. We are proud of the players for this achievement and the improvement they have shown,” said national team coach Let Dimzon, adding the work continues for them as they try to make a breakthrough for Philippine football in the biennial sporting meet.

In the history of the Games, the women’s team has only one medal to show for, a bronze in 1985.

Meanwhile, out to frustrate the Malditas is Vietnam, which is off a 6-0 shellacking of Indonesia on Nov. 29.

Featured in the other semifinal pairing are Myanmar and Thailand.