THE PHILIPPINES guns for a spot in the second round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament when it faces Hong Kong Monday night in Hisor, Tajikistan.

Victorious over Pakistan (4-0) and host Tajikistan (8-0), the Filipinas can seal their advance to the next phase of the qualifiers for Paris 2024 as Group E winners with at least a draw against Hong Kong.

The Pinay booters and their counterparts from Hong Kong carry identical six points on two wins but hold a big edge in goal difference, 12 versus 5. Hong Kong defeated Tajikistan (3-0) and Pakistan (2-0).

“Hong Kong are on six points just like us so we expect it to be a tough game, a very close game. But if we play well, I’m confident we can get the job done,” said Philippine coach Alen Stajcic.

If successful in the 4 p.m. game (7 p.m. Manila time), the Filipinas will join the six other group winners from Round 1 and seeded teams North Korea, Japan, Australia, China and South Korea in continuing the Olympic chase in the second round. — Olmin Leyba