THE PHILIPPINE women’s national football team will play in Group C in the second round of the 2020 Olympic Football Asian Qualifiers later this year.
In the official draw held early this week, the Malditas fell alongside Chinese Taipei, Iran and Palestine in the group competition happening from April 1 to 9. Palestine will host games in Group C.
In the second round, the Philippines needs to emerge on top to advance to the next round of the competition and come closer for an Olympic spot.
Last November during the opening round of the qualifiers, the Malditas, who were composed of players culled mostly from teams which played in the Philippine Football Federation Women’s League 2018 and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, made a good account of themselves, finishing second in their grouping with a 3-1 record behind Chinese Taipei (4-0).
They were in a position for a sweep but fell to Chinese Taipei, 5-0, in their final game.
In said match, the Philippines tried hard to keep in step with its opponent and was successful for much of the opening half.
But when Chinese-Taipei broke through in the 41st minute care of Lai Li Chin, it was simply unstoppable for the Philippines.
After that goal, a second came three minutes later from Lee Hsiu-chin.
Three more goals came in the second half — Yu Hsiu-chin (57’), Ms. Lee (65’) and Lin Hsin-hui (81’) – to complete the rout for Chinese-Taipei.
The loss halted what was an impressive run for the Malditas in round one of the qualifiers that had them beating Singapore, 9-0, host Tajikistan, 3-1, and Mongolia, 5-1.
Despite the loss though, the runner-up finish was enough for the Philippines to qualify for the second round.
In other groupings in the second round, Myanmar, India, Indonesia, and Nepal are in Group A, and Vietnam, Jordan, Hong Kong, and Uzbekistan are in Group B. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo