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Stajcic-coached PWNFT grouped with Australia in Asian Cup

Newly-tapped Philippine Women’s National Football Team head coach Alen Stajcic will get to face his old team in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

The Philippines, ranked no. 68 in the world, slots in with no. 11 Australia alongside no. 39 Thailand and no. 96 Indonesia. The four countries compose Group B in the continental meet that will take place in India from January 20-February 6, 2022.

Stajcic was the head coach of the Australia Matildas from 2014-2019. He steered the country to the World Cup in 2015 and 2019.

The PWNFT takes on Thailand on the 21st, Australia on the 24th, and Indonesia on the 27th.

Other games in the group are Australia versus Indonesia on the 21st, Indonesia versus Thailand on the 24th, and Australia versus Thailand on the 27th.

Pool A has India, China, Chinese-Taipei, and Iran. Meanwhile, Pool C includes Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

The top two teams in each group will automatically be seeded in the knockout playoffs. Then the top two teams among the third-placed teams will also advance.

With Australia co-hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with New Zealand, only five nations from the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup can book a ticket towards the grand event while two more teams can make it through the inter-confederation play-off.

The Philippines qualified for the meet after sweeping Nepal and Hong Kong in the qualifiers held back in September.

Back in 2018, the PWNFT finished sixth in the tournament.

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