24/07/2024

Filipinas take on Chinese Taipei in Olympic football qualifiers

Hace 9 meses

Filipinas take on Chinese Taipei in Olympic football qualifiers

After historic campaigns in the World Cup and Asian Games, the Philippine women’s football team returns to action against Chinese Taipei to open the second round of the Asian Olympic qualifiers

After historic campaigns in the World Cup and Asian Games, the Philippine women’s football team returns to action against Chinese Taipei to open the second round of the Asian Olympic qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines – The journey of the Philippine women’s football team to the 2024 Paris Olympics resumes as it kicks off the second round of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a clash against 38th-ranked Chinese Taipei at 4 pm on Thursday, October 26, at the HBF Park in Australia. 

While former coach Alen Stajcic steered the Filipinas to a first-round sweep, new Philippine team mentor Mark Torcaso looks all set to take the reins after making a quick impact in a few months. 

In the Asian Games last month, Torcaso and the No. 44 Filipinas recorded multiple achievements: first tournament appearance, first win, first goals and clean sheets, and first passage into the knockout round.

It was also the first time in 65 years that a Philippine football team participated in the knockout round since the men’s football team claimed a quarterfinal slot back in 1958.

In this qualifiers, Torcaso retained 17 of the 21 players from the Asian Games roster and named six other players to complete the 23-player squad. 

Keeping their spots are goalkeepers Kiara Fontanilla, Olivia McDaniel, Inna Palacios; defenders Reina Bonta, Jessika Cowart, Sofia Harrison, Hali Long, Eva Madarang; midfielders Sara Eggesvik, Natalie Oca, Isabella Pasion, Quinley Quezada, Jaclyn Sawicki, Meryll Serrano; forwards Sarina Bolden, Katrina Guillou, and Chandler McDaniel.

Completing the roster are defenders Alicia Barker, Angela Beard, Dominique Randle, midfielders Tahnai Annis, Jessica Miclat, and forward Isabella Flanigan.

Cut from the initial 29-player selection pool were midfielders Anicka Castañeda, Kaya Hawkinson, Camille Rodriguez, Alisha del Campo, and new additions Zoe Hudson and Aaliyah Schinaman.

“We’re doing our absolute best to be as ready as possible… but everyone’s looking really, really good in camp,” said Torcaso ahead of the Olympic qualifiers campaign. 

“Almost every single player that was available that has come previously from the World Cup and Asian Games have been made available which is excellent,” he added.

After the opening Group A match versus Chinese Taipei, the Filipinas will battle 11th-ranked Australia on October 29, then close out versus world No. 63 Iran on November 1.

Only the three group winners and the best group runner-up will proceed to the third and final round of the Olympic qualifiers in February 2024. 

The Filipinas last played Chinese Taipei when they successfully booked a World Cup ticket in the quarterfinals of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, while they also emerged victorious against Australia in their last meeting at the group stage of the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship. 

“We’re here to be competitive and we’re here to show that we are deserving of being at the World Cup previously and hopefully in another World Cup in four years time, so that’s what we’re extremely excited about and looking forward to,” said Torcaso.

“Chinese Taipei first, we’ll be aggressive, we’ll be exciting, and we won’t take them lightly, but we’ll do our business,” he added.

“We’ll just look after our own backyard first and worry about everything else later.” – Rappler.com

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