Filipinas to salvage whatever’s left of Paris chances
The slim hopes of keeping their Paris Olympics bid alive does not mean that coach Mark Torcaso and the Filipinas are going to go out on the pitch on Wednesday with a half-hearted effort.
“We have a goal of getting as much points as possible in this tournament, in this competition,” Torcaso said as the Filipinas wrap up their second round campaign in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament against Iran in Perth, Australia.
“Our goal is we want to get six points [in the second round], and anything else is a bonus. If we get the three points against Iran, that’s great. If that means we qualify, even better. If we don’t, it’s a learning [experience] and we know what we need to do [the next time].”
Not only will the Filipinas need to win over Iran in the 3:50 p.m. (Manila time) match at Perth Rectangular Stadium, but they must defeat them by a wide margin and hope that North Korea and Vietnam suffer slipups in their last second round matches.
The Filipinas are aiming to become the best among the three second place teams in the second round, but Sunday’s 8-0 loss to host Australia put them in a situation where their fate is out of their hands.
North Korea leads the chase with four points after a scoreless tie against South Korea in Group B. The NoKors now have a goal difference of +1, while Vietnam has three points in Group C, level with the Philippines.
The Philippines, though, has a -5 goal differential compared to +1 for Vietnam, meaning that the only way for Torcaso’s squad to qualify is for them to win by as many goals as possible and for the two other teams to lose big.
North Korea faces Thailand in Xiamen, China, while Vietnam faces Japan in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
“We definitely want to approach that game in a different way and we wanna make sure that we’re gonna push and we give ourselves a chance in whatever way we can,” said Torcaso.
Sarina Bolden will be leading the Filipinas offensively, while the defensive crew led by Hali Long will try to redeem itself after failing to stop the Australian rampage. INQ