Philippine Malditas seek ‘miracle’ win against Koreans
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - April 16, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Underdog Philippine Malditas seek to pull off a “Miracle in Jordan” in a bid to crash into the global stage as they face a formidable rival in Korea Republic in the battle for fifth place in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Monday night (early Tuesday in Manila) at Amman International Stadium.

The 72nd-ranked Malditas look to pull off the mother of upsets against the No. 16 Koreans in the 8 p.m. match (1 a.m. Tuesday Philippine time) and clinch the last slot in the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup.

The Pinay booters blew their opportunity to progress to the France worlds outright after losing to Asean rival Thailand at the end of the group stage, 1-3, ending third with three points in Group A, which was topped by unbeaten China.

Korea, meanwhile, matched the five-point tally of Australia and Japan in Group B but yielded the Top 2 places due to inferior goal difference.   

“We still have a chance,” said Malditas’ French coach Rabah Benlarbi. “It’s not yet over for us. We will go out and try to play without pressure.” 

They’re the overwhelming favorite in this World Cup playoff match-up but Korea mentor Yoon Duk-yeo maintained they won’t take the Filipinas lightly.

“The game against the Philippines is of course a very important game for us. Because of that, we need to respect our upcoming opponents and put all our efforts into winning the game so we can go into the World Cup,” said Yoon.

Semifinalists China and Thailand from Group A and Australia and Japan from Group B have cornered the first four WWC slots at stake in the Asian meet.

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