Philippine Football Federation(PFF) Women’s Department head Ernest Nierras predicts a positive campaign for the Filipino team in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup 2018 qualifiers.
The Philippine Women’s National Football Team will play in Group A according to the draw held in Amman, Jordan last January 21.
The Philippine Team will be playing against Jordan, Bahrain, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and host Tajikistan in the first stage of games.
“The women’s team has a very, very good chance of qualifying for the Asian Cup,” the former coach of the Malditas told reporters.
Nierras said that he is pleased with the outcome of the draw.
“We are in a group right now where we are paired with Jordan. And also, the other teams have lower rankings than us in our group,” he said.
Jordan has a higher rank of No.52 than the Philippines’ No. 69, while Bahrain is at No. 75 and UAE is at No.78.
Tajikistan, who will be hosting the Group A games and Iraq are unranked by FIFA.
Nierras attributed the favorable seeding of the country to the consistent performance of the Filipinas in the international stage in the past few years.
“The reason is also because in 2013, the women’s national team did very well. So now we are able to get out of this group of death pairing and now we are paired with Jordan who is going to be the host,” he said, adding that they would have just to secure the No. 2 spot in Group A in order to secure a ticket to the final tournament next year.
“So, top two in our group will be our target. We only need to reach the top two of our group to advance to the AFC Women’s Championships together with the qualifiers to the World Cup,” he concluded.
Divided into four groups, 24 teams will see action in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers that will run from April 3 to 12.
Japan, Australia, China and Jordan have already earned their berths in the final stage of games that will also serve as qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.