2024 Paris Olympic Asian Qualifiers: Filipinas to face familiar foes in second round
Posted: 2023-May-21 09.51.24 UTC+0800
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The Philippine women's national football team, Filipinas, will face old rivals in the second round of the 2024 Paris Olympic Asian Qualifiers, set to begin in late October this year.
During the draw at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 18, the Philippine women's national football team (PWNFT) was grouped with Australia, Chinese Taipei, and Iran in Group A.
Filipinas and Australia last met in the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women's Championship, with the former winning 1-0. However, it is important to note that the match featured their under-23 squads, and Australia was ranked 10th at that time.
In the same year, Australia's senior team defeated the Alen Stajcic-mentored Filipinas with a commanding 4-0 scoreline in the AFC Women's Asian Cup, showcasing their strength.
The most recent encounter between Stajcic's team and the 37th-ranked Chinese Taipei was during that same competition. The Philippines secured their spot in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup by defeating the East Asian nation in the penalty shootout during the quarterfinals.
Furthermore, in the second round of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Asian Qualifiers, both countries faced each other, with Chinese Taipei clinching a crucial 4-2 victory. This loss led to the elimination of the Philippines, who finished the qualifying campaign with a record of 2 wins, 0 draws, and 1 loss, defeating Iran (2-0) and Palestine (7-0).
Among the three nations, Iran holds the lowest global ranking at 67, and the Philippines has had the most success against them in their previous encounters. The Filipinas emerged victorious in both the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT), as mentioned earlier, and the 2014 AFC Women's Cup Qualifiers (6-0).
The Philippines qualified for the second round of the Paris 2024 AFC Qualifiers after topping Group E, which included Hong Kong, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. They scored 16 goals without conceding a single one.
Following their successful OQT campaign, the Filipinas fell short of reaching the semifinals in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games held in Cambodia. Myanmar defeated them 1-0, but the team managed to secure a victory against Malaysia with Sarina Bolden's stoppage-time goal. In their last fixture, they defeated the eventual champion Vietnam 2-1, making them the only team to beat the Golden Star Women Warriors.
However, before the second round begins, the Philippines' focus will shift to the World Cup scheduled for July – August, which will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.