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2019 AFC Women’s Asia Cup – Philippine Malditas
2019 AFC Women’s Asia Cup – Philippine Malditas

Football

PWNFT hoping for a ‘Miracle in Jordan’


The day of reckoning for the Philippine Women’s National Football Team draws nearer

Straight from their training camps held in the United States of America and Japan; the PWNFT are set to compete in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup from April 6 to 20, 2018 in Jordan.

Alongside hosts Jordan, China and Thailand in Group A, the Philippines is targeting a win and a draw at the very least to finish third place in the group and qualify for a playoff match to finish fifth in the competition – enough to guarantee a ticket to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be held in France. A result higher than fifth place will also seal a slot for the World Cup.

“The coach (Rabah Benlarbi) has told me that the team is well prepared and that we can do some surprises in Jordan,” said Philippine Football Federation President Nonong Araneta in a press conference last March 28 at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.

For his part, PFF General Secretary Atty. Ed Gastanes shared his excitement for the team’s journey. “As you know they qualified last year in Tajikistan. Of course, you know our Men’s team qualified last night,” he shared.

“We have now two Asian Cup teams, the Women’s team and the Men’s team but always the women are ahead. We salute you for that,” he furthered.

French coach Benlarbi will lead the Filipinas in the Asian Cup, a competition that President Araneta hopes would be remembered as the “Miracle in Jordan”. Originally hired as an assistant coach by the PFF Benlarbi’s promotion to become Richard Boon’s replacement was formalized last March 15, 2018.

#ReadMore  Sarina Bolden, Malditas stun Jordan for dream start to Asian Cup campaign

“I hope that the girls will understand the challenge. I think nobody is waiting for us. Jordan, Thailand and China don’t think about the Philippines. We must be motivated, concentrate. I hope we will qualify for the World Cup… And we will make a new story for Philippine football,” said Benlarbi.

There is still no word as to who from the pool will comprise Benlarbi’s final squad, but media briefings suggest that De La Salle University-Manila star Sara Castaneda is back with the team after her original omission.

The squad shall fly out to Jordan on Sunday, April 1. The Philippines will play Jordan on April 7, 1:00 AM, go up against China two days later at 9:45 PM and shall end its group stage campaign versus Thailand on April 13, 1:00 AM. The knockouts shall start on April 16 onwards. All dates and times stated are under Philippine time.

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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