CAM PHA – The Philippines national team will build on its recent success by qualifying for women’s soccer at the 31st Southeast Asian Games starting Monday.
The Philippine female athletes, who qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time after reaching the semi-finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India earlier this year, open their campaign against Cambodia at 7pm. in Group A on Monday at Cam Pha Stadium.
Philippines coach Alen Stajcic will have 20 players at his disposal for the tournament although two key Asian Cup names will not be present to fuel their efforts.
Chandler McDaniel, who scored against Thailand, is sidelined with an ACL injury she sustained in the Asian Cup semi-final against South Korea, while Katrina Guillou is sidelined due to commitments with the club. The SEA Games are not within FIFA’s deadline, meaning clubs are not required to release their players.
“It just gives someone a chance to advance and try to get a spot on the team,” says Stajcic.
Japan’s Quinley Quezada and Sarina Bolden are both available to choose from, along with captains Tahnai Annis and Hali Long, who spent last month in Sydney, Australia for a training camp that included friendly matches. with Fiji and Tonga.
“We are looking forward to this tournament,” said Stajcic. “It’s an important tournament for us and we want to really build on our performances in the Asian Cup. A lot of teams underestimated us in the Asian Cup, and we certainly won’t do it here.”
The Filipino players, supported by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission, are looking forward to playing in a packed stadium, especially against host Vietnam, the team they will play against on Monday. Three at the women’s soccer venue is located about 200 km from the main center of Hanoi.
“Playing in India without crowds is really disappointing. But hopefully, we are moving towards a post-COVID world and I am sure the players will enjoy playing in a full stadium here, especially when we meet Vietnam in a few days. ”
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