With their intensive training, the Filipinas (Philippine national women’s football team) are considered as gold medal favorites in the 32nd Cambodia Southeast Asian Games in May, according to football general secretary Atty. Ed Gastanes.
“There’s a very real chance right now for our women’s team [to win the gold medal in the SEA Games]. Anything is possible with our kind of preparation and the coaching staff [that we have],” Gastanes during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the Philippine Sports Commission.
“After the Filipinas captured the AFF Women’s Championship trophy last year, they are really looking forward to bagging another medal, if not the gold,” added the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) official.
After qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup by reaching the semifinals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India January of last year, the charges of Australian coach Alen Stajcic attained another milestone in clinching the AFF Women’s Championship title in front of a banner hometown crowd at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium four months later.
Their victorious campaign included an empathic 4-0 win over vaunted Vietnam in the semifinals.
“There are actually two national women’s teams preparing for the SEA Games, one is Vietnam and the other is the Philippines,” noted Gastanes in the session supported by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Meanwhile, the PFF is working on getting the national team involved in some more pocket tournaments in the country in June before proceeding to New Zealand for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Filipinas will be transferred to another base camp in Wellington from Dunedin before heading to Auckland where they will meet up with the 13th-ranked Norway to cap the group stage. (NIKOLE JAVIER)