Filipinas eye successful run in Asian Games debut

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 21) – The Philippine Women’s National Football Team is setting its sights on another historic campaign as they make their debut in the Asian Games.

The Filipinas are making their much-awaited return to the pitch since their impressive run in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup where they beat host country New Zealand in the group stage.

READ: Filipinas secure historic victory over New Zealand in FIFA World Cup

The team is set to parade an intact core that features 14 players who saw action in the World Cup bannered by Olivia McDaniel, Sarina Bolden and Sara Eggesvik.

The Philippines was drawn in Group E together with fellow world cup campaigner South Korea, as well as Myanmar, and Hong Kong.

It will also be the team’s first competition under new head coach Mark Torcaso, who replaced the team’s Australian mentor Alen Stajcic just a month ago.

Despite the short turnaround, Torcaso said they are determined to go as far as they can in the tournament.

“It’s more about a way for us to really see how these players play in competitive competition," he said. "Definitely wanna go as deep and as far in the competition to hopefully finish in the podium or win the whole thing if possible."

Returning Filipinas veteran Eva Madarang, meanwhile, said the team will be banking on their chemistry.

“I think because we played some of these teams before anyways so I think we kinda know a little bit what we're going to face," Madarang said. "But like what Mark [Torcaso] said before: every team is different, every preparation is different."

“Obviously there’s some pressure but because we have the core team, we’re a family, we’re all friends, we bring each other up so that helps build our confidence as well,” she added.

The Filipinas will open their Asian Games campaign against Hong Kong on Friday, Sept. 22, at the Wenzhou Sports Centre in China.