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Japan downs Malditas

Game Today (Yangon, Myanmar)
9 p.m. ­ Philippines vs Myanmar

The Philippine Malditas were brought back to earth by the fancied Japan U-23 squad after a 4-1 defeat late Thursday night in the AFF Women’s Championship at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon, Myanmar.

Japan charged to a 3-0 halftime lead on goals by Mariko Tanaka in the 4th minute, Miyuki Takahashi in the 20th and Satsuki Hashiura in the 45th before Imai Haruka added a fourth goal in the 79th.

Fil-American Patrice Impelido, a former standout at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, salvaged some pride for the Malditas when she struck in the 85th or five minutes before injury time.

The Malditas, who opened the tourney with a 6-0 rout of Indonesia last Tuesday, stayed at three points for a three-way tie for the lead in Group B with Japan and host Myanmar.

Up next for the squad of coach Ernie Nierras is a duel with host Myanmar tonight, in a match that the national lasses needing a victory to boost their chances for a spot in the semifinal round.

The top two teams in Group B will join the two best squads of Group A in the crossover semis. (Jonas Terrado)