Malditas advances to 2018 AFC Asian Cup

BY ADRIAN STEWART CO

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Philippine Malditas anticipates a trip to Jordan for the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

 

MANILA – The Philippine women’s football team formalized its entry in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup after a 1-1 draw with the Bahrain on Monday night at the Pamir Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Sara Castañeda scored the game-tying goal late in the match for the Malditas, which has secured its slot in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan regardless of the result of its last match against league-leading Jordan.

The feat was considered historic for the Buda Bautista-mentored national women’s football squad, which has not advanced to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup tournament since its last appearance in 2003.

Prior to the 1-1 deadlock with Bahrain, the Malditas tallied a 4-0 domination over the United Arab Emirates squad on April 3, a 4-0 rout over Iran on April 5 and a 8-0 win over Tajikistan on April 7.

Bahrain got an early look on the goal but Reem Yusuf’s shot was foiled by Inna Palacios. The Malditas also had their chances but Dai Dolino and Eva Madarang misfired attempts.

From a scoreless first half, the Bahrain gained control of the match early in the second half as Noora Sami Al-Dossary scored from close range. Madarang nearly tied the match afterwards but her conversion was ruled as offside.

After a series of missed attempt, the Malditas finally scored at the 82nd minute as Castañeda scored from a missed header by Madarang. Since then, the Malditas tightened on its defense to settle for a draw.

A total of 24 teams will enter the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, with Japan, Australia and China PR automatically qualified for the final tournament by their position as the top three teams of the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup./PN