THE Philippine women’s national football team shoots for a spot in the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Women’s Cup when it takes on Hong Kong in an all-important Group F qualifying match on Friday in Uzbekistan.
Currently leading the group with three points, the Malditas are looking to complete a sweep of their assignments that would earn them direct passage to the Asian Cup happening in India next year.
The Philippine women’s team had to dig deep in its opening qualifying match against Nepal on Sept. 18 at JAR Stadium in Tashkent, banking on late goals by Thanai Annis and Camille Wilson to pull the rug from under the Nepalese.
The nationals played catch-up throughout the contest after going down, 0-1, in the 10th minute after Nepal’s Bimala Chaudary scored on a header.
While the 68th-ranked Malditas were seemingly heading to an upset loss at the hands of 101st-ranked Nepal going into stoppage time, the former extricated for an equalizer.
Ms. Annis found herself free in the box and converted a cross from teammate Chandler McDaniel to level the count in the 90th minute.
Two minutes later, Ms. Wilson would score the go-ahead goal on another assist from Ms. McDaniel to complete the impressive charge-back win.
The Malditas, whose campaign is being supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the MVP Sports Foundation, will still advance even with a draw with Hong Kong, which was held to a nil-nil stalemate by Nepal in their clash on Sept. 21.
In the qualifying phase, the format has the top teams in each of the eight groupings advancing to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, where they get to vie for spots in the 2023 International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Women’s World Cup. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo