Dream doesn’t end for PH football after World Cup entry | Inquirer Sports
PARIS 2024 NEXT TARGET

Dream doesn’t end for PH football after World Cup entry

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:10 AM February 02, 2022
Team Philippines members whoop it up on the field after historic win over Chinese Taipei on Sunday.

Team Philippines members whoop it up on the field after historic win over Chinese Taipei on Sunday. —AFC.COM

Following its quantum leap to the world stage, the Philippine women’s football team now has a strong case of bringing the national colors to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“Of course. If we qualify for the World Cup, why not the Olympics?’’ said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong’’ Araneta Jr. after the Filipino lady booters wrote history with a breakthrough entry to the next staging of the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

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The Philippines made it to the global scene after a heroic performance that produced a thrilling 4-3 win on penalties over Chinese Taipei on Sunday during the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asian Cup in Pune, India.

Ranked 64th in the world, the Filipinos can showcase their newfound confidence against South Korea in the semifinals on Thursday. The Koreans booted out the highly favored Australian squad, 1-0, in the quarterfinals.

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“Actually, securing a ticket to the Olympics is more difficult than qualifying for the World Cup. There are five slots for the continent in the World Cup, while only three countries in Asia will go to the Olympics,’’ said Araneta during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

Araneta weaved his magic twice, the first time as Team Philippines chef de mission in the Tokyo Olympics last year where the nation captured its first gold medal courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.

The Philippines needs to brace itself against Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and probably North Korea in the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“The ranking of these countries are really much higher than us. But from what we saw from the team [in India], anything is possible now,’’ said Araneta.

“They have proven that and we’re confident that come the qualifications for the Olympics, I think we will give them a good fight,’’ added Araneta.

Team Philippines coach Allen Stajcic molded the team, which became the first national football squad to earn the privilege of going to the prestigious world meet, even after preparations only began in December in Irvine, California.

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“Given more time, this team can improve a lot. With coach Allen there, there are a lot of promising things that can happen,’’ said Araneta.

Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel came through with a pair of big stops along with a penalty kick that leveled the count prior to Sarina Bolden’s golden goal that sent the Philippines to the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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TAGS: Chinese Taipei, Football, Paris 2024 Olympics
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