Asian Games: Redemption not on Eva Madarang’s mind in Filipinas return
Eva Madarang reiterated that she’s not heading to the Hangzhou Asian Games (Asiad) representing the Philippine women’s football team with a chip on her shoulders.
“I wouldn’t say like redemption,” Madarang said on the eve of the Filipinas’ opening assignment against Hong Kong on Friday at Wenzhou Sports Center Stadium when asked if the Asiad stint will serve as a “redemption tour.”
The veteran defender was among those cut by then-coach Alen Stajcic from the Fifa Women’s World Cup roster last July, a decision Madarang later admitted on social media as something that she didn’t agree with.
New coach Mark Torcaso, however, enlisted Madarang in the 21-player squad for the Asiad as the Filipinas hope to build on the World Cup campaign and put themselves in a position to fight for a medal finish.
“I’ve been with the team for years [and] I’ve been cut before, so it’s not like I’m gonna redeem myself in another tournament,” she said.
“I’m committed to this team. They’re my family and my friends, so not getting chosen to a tournament is not gonna alter my decision on playing for the Philippines,” Madarang added.
Madarang hopes to contribute to the Filipinas campaign which starts against a Hong Kong team it had beaten handily a few months ago.
The Filipinas battered Hong Kong, 4-0, in the first round of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Hisor, Tajikistan, but Torcaso said that result shouldn’t be an indication of how things could turn out this time.
“I’m anticipating a great game,” the Aussie-born mentor said. “Every opponent, regardless of results we’ve had in the past, should be treated with respect because you just don’t know what they’re doing and how they’re preparing also.”
Meanwhile, the Filipinas will be coming in surely motivated in its opening match.
According to Philippine Football Federation secretary general Edwin Gastanes, each member of the women’s national football team that played in the Fifa (International Association Football Federation)Women’s World Cup just received their $30,000 bonus for qualifying in the global showpiece.
The Filipinas are in Group E with South Korea and Myanmar, teams that beat in their previous meetings, with their eyes set on progressing into the knockout phase. Captain Hali Long, Sarina Bolden and Sara Eggesvik will spearhead the team in the 4 p.m. clash with Hong Kong.