After botched Paris bid, Torcaso focuses on Filipinas’ fitness | Inquirer Sports

After botched Paris bid, Torcaso focuses on Filipinas’ fitness

/ 05:15 AM November 03, 2023

Filipinas in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Filipinas in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Now that their dream of reaching the Paris Olympics has come to a close, coach Mark Torcaso wants to focus on making sure that the Filipinas can sustain their competitiveness.

“Obviously, the fitness level between our players against other teams, particularly Australia, is something I’m thinking about in the next games and tournaments,” Torcaso said as Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Iran was not enough for the Philippines to progress past the second round of the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.


The Filipinas finished second in Group A with six points, but lost out in the race for the final spot in the last stage of the Paris qualifiers to Uzbekistan.


Uzbekistan nailed the spot for the best second place team out of the three groups following a 3-0 win over India. The Filipinas had been hoping that the Uzbeks ended up losing or getting a draw to sneak a spot in the last phase after South Korea and China battled to a 1-1 tie in Group B and Vietnam falling 2-0 to Japan in Group C.

It didn’t help that the Filipinas had a goal difference of -4 after the second round, due to their rough 8-0 loss to host Australia in their second game in Perth.Legs not there

“We want to make sure that the players are really prepared coming into the tournament because as you saw [against Iran], the Aussie game, we have players who didn’t have [the] legs,” said Torcaso. “So we wanna make sure that they’re probably conditioned better and obviously it requires time prior to the competition.”

The Olympic qualifier was the second competition since Torcaso was tasked to succeed Alen Stajcic after the Fifa (International Federation of Association Football) Women’s World Cup.

The Filipinas made it to the quarterfinals of the Hangzhou Asian Games, barely, despite being pounded 5-1 by South Korea in the group stage. Their run ended with an 8-1 defeat to Japan.In Perth, the Filipinas began with a 4-1 win over Chinese Taipei, then they allowed five goals in the first half against the Matildas, who were led by world-class striker Sam Kerr.

The Filipinas defeated Iran on Tahnai Annis’ first-half goal, but they had plenty of chances to increase the lead, only for them to be denied by a resilient Iranian backline.

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TAGS: Asian Football Confederation, Filipinas, Mark Torcaso, Paris Olympics

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