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Being part of PWNFT was a long-time coming for Katrina Guillou


In a win that would be celebrated for such a long time for its historic nature, members of the Philippine Women’s National Football Team displayed heroic valor to hold out a 1-0 win over decades-long tormentor Thailand to kickstart its AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 at such a grand scale.

One of the key standouts from that victory, though, simply had to be newcomer Katrina Guillou – arguably the team’s most potent forward before Chandler McDaniel scored the winner in the 81st minute.

The 28-year-old Guillou had a goal ruled out for offside early in the match and hit the crossbar with a stunning attempt to cap off a fantastic debut for the Philippines.

“Of course, during the game when it all happened in real-time, I was convinced I wasn’t offside but after seeing the replays I understand that it was the right decision by the ref but of course at that moment, I didn’t really think about that,” quipped the University of North Carolina Wilmington alumna. “The only thing in my head was, ‘Oh my God! I just scored!’ But now we have to wait for a little bit longer.

“For the second one, the (Thai) keeper looked like she was leaning to one side so I just tried to hit it over and I was watching the ball, and as soon as it hit the crossbar, as I was like, ‘Argh! Another one!’”

Guillou’s participation in the national team program has been a long time coming.

For years, the Philippine Football Federation had been trying to court her to play for the national team.

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During that courtship, Guillou had played in some of Europe’s topflight clubs like Oulu Nice in the Naisten Liiga, Morön BK in Division 2 Norrland, and, finally, Piteå IF that plays in Damallsvenskan.

Now that the secret is out, it is safe to say that it has been worth the wait considering the instant impact she showed last night.File-photo-katrina-guillou Being part of PWNFT was a long-time coming for Katrina Guillou Football News Philippine Malditas  - philippine sports news

“It kind of all started two years ago when I had a highlight reel from my time in Sweden when I was first there,” the 5-foot-2 midfielder recalled. “Way back while I was still in college, my coach always talked about mentioning ‘Oh you can play for the national team’, and it was something that I was like oh maybe he’s like joking and I was just like ‘Okay, yeah sure.’

“And then fast forward from the two years ago, I just kinda took a chance and sent them the video because my mom is a Filipina so after all the help from the Philippine Football Federation in getting my passport and everything settled, I was invited to join the camp in Irvine, California after I just came back from my season in Sweden and here we are a few months later,” she continued.

“For me, I was a little late considering my season ended later in Sweden but from the moment I joined the group, everyone was really welcoming, everyone was kind, supportive. It was just a great family vibe I would say. I think that goes for everyone else who came and went through the camp during our time there so it was really great to be able to join this group of girls.”

As part of the first country’s women’s football team that emerged victorious over Thailand, Guillou understands the historic nature of the result.

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However, she is also ready to let it go with so much left to play for. One win does not seal qualification to the FIFA World Cup 2023 and more challenges await.

2022-AFC-Asian-Womens-Cup-Philippines-def-Thailand-Starters Being part of PWNFT was a long-time coming for Katrina Guillou Football News Philippine Malditas  - philippine sports news

Photo by AFC

“I mean definitely yes, last night was a great win for the country but now that game is over with. We have more goals within our group that we need to still accomplish,” said the Washington-born athlete whose mother is a native of Manila.

“So now, we’re turning all our focus towards Australia and the best way we can do that, as of today, is just starting with proper recovery like getting well-rested, recuperating from last night and then just changing that mindset into a new team now,” she added about the Matildas that thrashed Indonesia also last night, 18-0.

“Of course, I think we’re just going to try and build off where we were last night – trying to possess the ball better, supporting each other whether we are pressing, making runs, trying to get more people off the ball, more options for when we do have it, so that’s something we’re gonna keep trying to improve on.”

With Australia on the horizon, it is safe to say that Guillou and her teammates realize the extreme difficulty of the task at hand.

Considering also the subplot of the opposition being Philippines coach Alen Stajic’s home nation, things are really going to be interesting when the two countries face off.

“I think it’s pretty much business as usual going in.

“Like now we know where we need to just further our chances in the tournament and we can’t really think past anything right now. Of course for (Stajic) and I’m sure for everyone, if we can snag a result that’s the best-case scenario but we know it’s not gonna be an easy match whatsoever,” she stressed.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces


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