By Jonas Terrado
1 a.m. – Jordan vs Philippines
The Philippine Malditas hope to make a strong impression early tomorrow morning as they begin their AFC Asian Women’s Cup campaign against host Jordan at the Amman International Stadium.
The Malditas want nothing less than to produce a positive result in the 1 a.m. Manila time match with the Jordanians and show that they are more than a team that is enjoying the perks of qualifying in Asia’s biggest women’s football competition.
Both nations met in last year’s qualifier in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with the Malditas absorbing a 5-1 defeat, but the team, now coached by Frenchman Rabah Benlarbi, are determined to produce a different outcome.
Sara Castaneda, Hali Long, Eva Madarang and goalkeeper Inna Palacios lead the Malditas’ campaign in Group A which is also composed of China and Thailand.
The top two teams in the group not only advance to the semifinals, but also secure spots in next year’s Women’s World Cup in France. However, the team that finishes third get a shot at the fifth and final spot through a match against the third placer of Group B.
Also part of the 23-man squad are Claire Lim, Alesa Dolino, Krystal de Ramos, Morgan Brown, Camille Rodriguez, Maria Park, Jesse Shugg, Caitlyn Kreutz, Ryley Bugay, Kearra Bastes-Jones, Leah Larot, Alexa Diaz, Stacey Cavill, Calah Simarago, Tahnai Annis, Patrice Impelido, Quinley Quezada, Jessica Miclat, Chalise Baysa and Sarina Bolden.