In their first competition since the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Women’s National Football Team is getting back on the pitch to gain international glory for the country.
The Philippine Football Federation announced the selection of players who will compete in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 qualifying matches in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
A total of 22 players have been called up, with nine holdovers from SEA Games team.
Headlining the squad are co-captains Inna Palacios and Hali Long.
Veterans also returning are defenders Chelo Hodges, Tara Shelton, and Patricia Tomanon; midfielders Sara Castaneda, Bhebe Lemoran, and Camille Rodriguez; and striker Alisha Del Campo.
Defender Ryley Bugay, midfielders Tahnai Annis and Jessica Miclat return to the fold to reinforce the squad. They last represented the program back in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan.
The rest of the lineup includes debutants Olivia Davies McDaniel, who plays goalkeeper; midfielders Malea Cesar and Alyssa Ube; and forward Chandler McDaniel.
Former youth internationals Isabelle Mapanao and Arianna Lepage make the cut at the senior level. The likes of Sofia Harrison, Anicka Castaneda, Camille Wilson, and Rocelle Mendano complete the pool.
The Marlon Maro-mentored squad conducted a training camp in California, USA, last August and left for Uzbekistan last Sunday.
The team is set to compete against Nepal on September 18 at 6:00 PM (Manila time); and Hong Kong on September 24 at 6:00 PM. They start in Group F at the JAR Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The Filipinas are targeting two straight victories. The team that tops its group is the only one that can book a ticket into the tournament proper of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which takes place in India. It also serves as the final qualification phase of the Asian continent for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.