Lady booters eye breakthrough vs Thailand

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Lady booters eye breakthrough vs Thailand
The Philippine lady booters.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — World Cup-chasing Philippines is determined to break the stranglehold of nemesis Thailand when they clash tonight in the opener of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Navi Mumbai.

The Filipina booters have lost their 12 previous duels with the Thais, including a 3-1 decision in the 2018 WAC, but feel good about their chances for a breakthrough in the 5:30 p.m. Group B match at the DY Patil Stadium (8 p.m. in Manila).

“In 2018, it was a very tight game so if we could improve a little bit, we can beat a good opponent,” said Team Phl coach Alen Stajcic.

A former mentor for Australia, Stajcic assembled a crack lineup of holdovers from the last Asian meet in Jordan and promising newcomers who held a two-month camp in Irvine, California ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifying meet.

“We came here to compete and win games,” said captain Tahnai Annis. “We want to use our experience from the last AFC Women’s Asian Cup and improve on what we achieved the last time. We really want to do well here.”

After Thailand, the Philippines faces the world No. 11 Matildas on Monday and fellow Asean Indonesia on Thursday. The goal is to finish in the Top 2 or be one of the two best third-placed teams across the three groups to advance to the quarterfinals.


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