Malditas shoot for FIFA World Cup berth


The Philippine women’s national football team guns for a historic appearance in the International Federation of Football Associations Women’s World Cup 2019 when it faces the formidable China today in the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asian Cup 2018.

With a Women’s World Cup slot at stake, the Malditas and the Steel Roses are expected to go all-out in their 9:45 p.m. (Philippine time) encounter at the King Abdullah 2nd Stadium in Amman, Jordan.

Malditas’ Sarina Bolden (No. 23) tackles Jordan team captain Stephanie Al Naber during the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup 2018 in Jordan. PHOTO FROM AFC.COM

Both national squads are fresh from winning their respective opening matches, each a victory away from securing a seat in the highest women’s football tilt.

The Philippines pulled off a comeback 2-1 stunner over host Jordan. Sarina Bolden struck the game-winning goal in the 76th minute following Yasmeen Khair’s own goal as the Malditas overcame the early strike by Maysa Jbarah.

Head coach Rabah Benlarbi is tempering his expectations as the Filipina booters’ tussle against the Chinese team that decimated Thailand, 4-0.

“I will definitely try to take care of my players for the match against China and potentially use some of the squad who did not feature against Jordan,” said Benlarbi.

“I believe qualification will be achieved in our final game against Thailand and not against China,” added the French mentor.

China leads Group A with three points and a higher goal difference over the second-running Philippines. The winner will also enter the semifinals of the continental tourney.


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