Philippine football

Filipinas, Matildas collide in pivotal Olympic qualifying match

Juro Morilla

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Filipinas, Matildas collide in pivotal Olympic qualifying match

CELEBRATE. Sarina Bolden in action for the Philippine women's football team.

Philippine Women's National Football Team Facebook page

The unbeaten Philippine women's football team looks to pull off an upset against the Australia Matildas in the 2024 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament

MANILA, Philippines – Following a stunning come-from-behind win in its opening match in the second round of the 2024 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the Philippine women’s football team aims to upset another high-ranking squad as it takes on Australia on Sunday, October 29, at the Optus Stadium in Australia.

Both teams emerged victorious in their opening matches, but the Philippines temporarily holds the top spot in Group A due to its superior goal difference. 

Filipinas head coach Mark Torcaso said that they watched Australia’s opener against Iran and he observed that the Matildas ”wasted a lot of time of football.”

“We want to accept, to take this challenge of playing against a top side and just give the girls the opportunity to go at there and enjoy the moment and whatever comes from that game, comes from that game,” said Torcaso.

“We literally believe that they can get something out of this game and get a good result, but we’re definitely looking forward to it,” said Torcaso.

Since the start of the Olympic qualifiers, the Filipinas have dominated both ends of the pitch as they’ve recorded 20 goals and conceded a goal only once in four matches. 

However, the Matildas pose a different challenge as they are currently ranked 11th in the latest FIFA World Rankings –just second to Japan in Asia – and finished fourth in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Spearheading Australia is team captain and forward Sam Kerr, who entered the qualifying tournament with 64 goals in 125 appearances for her country and has won multiple domestic titles with Chelsea WFC, a professional team in England. 

Supporting the 30-year-old Kerr are vice captain Steph Catley (Arsenal WFC), veteran Caitlin Foord (Arsenal WFC), and impressive youngsters Kyra Cooney-Cross (Arsenal WFC) and Mary Fowler (Manchester City WFC).

Unlike in the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship, Australia decided to call-up its big hitters as the Matildas navigate their way in the second round of the Olympic qualifiers in front of their home fans.

Meanwhile, Torcaso shared that playing on the road should “excite” and get the Filipinas “really pumped up” as they shoot for another historical milestone, but he downplayed the personal storyline of him coaching against his country.

“I’m the Philippines coach now so that’s all what I’m really worried about, I’m not Australian for that day,” said a smirking Torcaso.

“Yeah, it holds some small significance, but my job is to coach this team and with all respect to the Matildas and the Australian audience, my role is to lead this team and be the best that I can as coach of this team.” –

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