With the country’s backs against the wall, the Philippine Football Federation did not hold back.
The Philippine Women’s National Football Team is set to take on Iran, Chinese Taipei, and Palestine for the second round of Asian qualifiers to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Football Tournament.
Currently ranked No. 74 in the world, the team progressed to this stage after a successful first round last November, where they registered three wins against Singapore, Tajikistan and Mongolia and one loss against Chinese Taipei.
For the ladies to progress to the third round, they will need to finish top of their group.
Far Eastern University’s Let Dimzon extends her tenure as the head coach. She has selected 23 players to bring to Doha, Qatar.
Holdovers from five months ago include team captain Patrice Impelido (Hiraya FC), co-captain Inna Palacios (Green Archers United FC), Camille Rodriguez (Hiraya FC), Hali Long (Green Archers United FC), Alesa Dolino (OutKast FC), Patricia Tomanon (Florida International University), Mea Bernal (OutKast FC) and Analou Amita (OutKast FC).
Players of De La Salle University and Far Eastern University have been released by their schools, with the UAAP season on break to give way to the tournament. They are Sara Castañeda, Irish Navaja, Alisha Del Campo, Chelo Hodges, Christina Montelibano, and Rocelle Mendaño for DLSU; and then Hannah Faith Pachejo, Kimberly Pariña, and Mary Harriette of FEU.
Eva Madarang (Rogers State University), Stacey Cavill (Perth Glory), Joyce Semacio (Miriam College High School) and Calah Simarago (UC Santa Barbara) represented in other tournaments last year and are back on the squad.
Another notable return is Loreta Ladero (OutKast FC), who last suited up for the country in 2012. Tara Shelton (Holy Names Academy), who previously played for Dimzon with the U-16 team, rounds up the cast.
Tonight the Pinays will open their campaign against Iran (No. 66) at 1:00 a.m. They will next meet their first-round nemesis Chinese Taipei (No. 40) on Sunday, April 7 at 1:00 a.m. before closing out against Palestine (No. 111) on Wednesday, April 10 at 12:00 midnight. All times are in Philippine standard time.