The Philippine women’s football team targets a historic win over Bahrain in the Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers at the Pamir Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Monday.
The highly-anticipated encounter is set at 10 p.m. (Manila time) with the Filipinas seeking a berth in the final stage of the continental stage to be held in Jordan in April next year.
The PH XI has won its first three matches, all in impressive fashions, in Group A to tie Jordan at the top of the standings with nine points although the latter holds the provisional No. 1 ranking due to superior goal difference.
The team of head coach Leticia Bautista started its campaign with a 4-0 win over United Arab Emirates (UAE) and followed it up with a 4-0 beating of Iraq. The Filipinas annihilated host Tajikistan, 8-0, behind the hat trick of veteran defender Hali Long and the brace of Anicka Castaneda.
National team newcomer Eva Madarang has scored in all the three games of the Philippines and she’s expected to lead the charge of the team against the dangerous Bahrain squad.
“The three games that we had was a good build up for the individual and team overall confidence. The results of the games were the result of hard work, teamwork and concentration. The thirst for winning is evident in all members,” said Bautista in a statement.
The work is not yet done,” the long-time mentor added. “We’re looking for the win.”
A draw with Bahrain could also put the Philippines in the Asian Cup next year even if losses to Jordan on Wednesday as the second-best team in Group A will get the slot if Jordan tops the group. Jordan has already been seeded in Asian Cup for being the host.
Bahrain is the only team that can challenge the Philippines for that spot as it is currently running third with a 1-1-1 (win-loss-draw) record for four points. Already out of contention are Tajikistan (1-0-2), UAE (0-1-2) and Iraq (0-0-3).
The Philippines is one of the 21 teams competing for the remaining four slots in the Asian Cup. Aside from Jordan, China, Japan and Australia have booked their slots for next year’s tournament.