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FIFA Women’s World Cup heroines Olivia McDaniel and Sarina Bolden spearhead the 21-member Filipinas team gunning for Asian Games honors on the heels of their historic World Cup (WC) stint.
Ms. McDaniel and Ms. Bolden, the Player of the Match and goal-scorer, respectively, in the Philippines’ famous 1-0 upset of host New Zealand, return for the Asiad mission alongside fellow World Cuppers Kiara Fontanilla, Reina Bonta, Jessika Cowart, Sofia Harrison, Hali Long, Anicka Castaneda, Sara Eggesvik, Quinley Quezada, Jaclyn Sawicki, Katrina Guillou, Chandler McDaniel and Merryl Serrano.
Inna Palacios and Isabella Pasion are also tapped for active duty after serving as reserves in the global showpiece. Rounding out the Asian Games team assembled by new coach Mark Torcaso are defender Eva Madarang, midfielders Kaya Hawkinson, Natalie Oca and Camille Rodriguez and forward Alisha del Campo.
It will be the Filipinas’ maiden outing in the Continental meet. Ditto Mr. Torcaso, who’s set for his debut competition since taking the old role of fellow Aussie Alen Stajcic who left after the WC.
The Pinay booters launch their bid in Group E against Hong Kong on Friday before taking on Asian Cup nemesis Korea on the 25th and Asean rival Myanmar on the 28th.
The goal is to top the group or at least finish among the three best group runners-up to advance to the KO stage. — Olmin Leyba