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Meet the Teams: Philippines (Group A)


Manila: The AFC Women's Asian Cup Jordan 2018 promises to be a cracker with the Continent's top eight teams battling for supremacy, with which will come a brand new trophy. 

Join the-AFC.com as we count down to Friday's kick-off with an in-depth look at the eight teams, starting with the Philippines.


Back in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup for the first time since 2003, the Philippines will be looking to advance beyond the group stage, a feat never achieved before, and seal a spot at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Southeast Asians booked their place at the tournament after finishing second in their qualifying group behind Jordan, who were already guaranteed a place as hosts.

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A first-half brace from Eva Madarang set them on their way to a 4-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates as the Philippines kicked off their qualifying campaign in Tajikistan in style. 

Madarang was again on the scoresheet as the Malditas scored four without reply against Iraq to leave the nation dreaming of a return to the continental competition.

Hali Long netted a hat-trick and sisters Sara and Anicka Castaneda were also on the scoresheet as the Philippines saw off Tajikistan 8-0 to move a step closer to progressing to Jordan.

Needing to avoid defeat against Bahrain to rubber stamp their tournament berth, Sara Castaneda’s goal secured a 1-1 draw to confirm second place in the standings ahead of their table-topping decider with the Jordanians. 

Although Jordan ran out 5-1 winners, the tournament had been a huge success for the Philippines, who will have a chance to avenge that defeat when they come up against the West Asians in their first group stage game in Amman.

 

The Philippines last appeared at the continental tournament back in 2003, when a 2-1 victory over Guam proved to be the highlight in what was their eighth appearance at the competition. 

Four years earlier, the Philippines hosted the competition and got off to the best possible start following a 5-0 victory over Nepal, although they ended up exiting after defeats to Japan, Thailand and Uzbekistan. 

More recently, the Malditas were part of the 2017 SEA Games last August and began the campaign with a 2-1 victory over hosts Malaysia. 

Regional rivals Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand then all defeated them as the Philippines finished fourth in the five-team group.

But under new head coach Rabah Benlarbi, the side will travel to Jordan in high spirits in the knowledge that they are the first team from the country to reach the tournament proper in 15 years and one of the continent’s top eight sides.

With the competition’s top five teams all set to advance to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France next year, hopes will be high that the Philippines can at least secure a top-three finish in their group and be part of the all-important fifth place play-off.


AFC Women’s Asian Cup Appearances - Group Stage: 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997, 1995, 1993, 1983, 1981

Head Coach: Rabah Benlarbi (FRA)

Key Players: Patrice Impelido, Hali Long, Sara Castaneda


Group Stage Fixtures

April 6 vs Jordan

April 9 vs China PR

April 12 vs Thailand

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