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Filipinas look to bounce back vs winless Iran in Olympic qualifiers

Juro Morilla

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Filipinas look to bounce back vs winless Iran in Olympic qualifiers

TOUGH CLIMB. Philippine women's football team midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki (4) handles the ball in the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifiers.

Neil Bravo/PFF/PWNT

The Philippine women’s football team hopes to keep its 2024 Paris Olympics dream alive as it clashes with Iran in the final matchday of the qualifying tournament

MANILA, Philippines – Despite losing 8-0 to Australia in its previous match, the window for advancing to the third and final round of the 2024 AFC Women’s Olympic Tournament remains open as the Philippine women’s football team plays winless Iran on Wednesday, November 1, 3:50 pm, at the HBF Park in Australia.

World No. 11 Australia tops Group A with 6 points and a massive +10 goal difference (GD), while the 44th-ranked Filipinas sit at second with 3 points and a -5 goal difference.

Iran (-2 GD) and Chinese Taipei (-3 GD) have a single point each, but the Iranians are ahead of the table due to a superior goal difference. 

A single round-robin format is implemented in the second round of the Olympic qualifiers and only the three group winners and the best group runners-up will proceed to the last phase, which will be held in February 2024. 

In Group B, both South (+9 GD) and North (+1) Korea have 4 points, but are only separated by goal difference and lurking behind them is China with 3 points. Thailand sits at the bottom and is eliminated with 0 points. 

Japan leads Group C with 6 points, Vietnam (+1) and Uzbekistan (-1) have 3 points, while India is still stuck at the end of the table with 0 points. 

Based on the results of the other teams after two matches played, the Philippines is currently the worst group runners-up among the three. 

However, a win versus world No. 63 Iran in the final match-day of the second round and favorable results from the matches in Groups B and C will catapult the Filipinas to the next phase. 

“We had a goal to get as many points as possible in this tournament, in this competition and our goal was we want to get 6 points definitely,” said Philippines head coach Mark Torcaso ahead of the Iran clash.

“Anything else apart from that was a bonus so if we go out and get 6 points and we get the 3 points against Iran, that’s great,” he said.

“If that means we qualify, even better, if we don’t, then again, it’s a learning, we know what we need to do.”

The 44-year-old coach added, “We’re definitely gonna approach that game in a different way and we’re gonna make sure that we push and we give ourselves a chance to qualify if we can.”

Heading into their final match in Group A, Sarina Bolden currently leads the Filipinas in scoring with 2 goals, while Katrina Guillou and Chandler McDaniel have a goal each. 

Iran, on the other hand, has yet to record a single goal in the second round of the Olympic qualifiers, but has kept a clean sheet versus Chinese Taipei. –

[OPINION] Finding the ‘Filipino-ness’ of the Filipinas

[OPINION] Finding the ‘Filipino-ness’ of the Filipinas

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