Football: Palacios, Long lead PH team in Women's Asian Cup

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2022 05:40 PM

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Veteran goal-keeper Inna Palacios and defender Hali Long will lead the Philippines in the AFC Women's Asia Cup 2022, where they will try to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

Head coach Alen Stajcic called up a squad of 23 players, including seven newcomers, for the tournament that takes place in India from January 20 to February 6.

Palacios is the most-capped member of the squad, having made 47 appearances for the Philippines. Long is next with 41 caps, followed by midfielder Sara Castaneda with 40.

Sarina Bolden and Quinely Quezada, who missed the Women's Asian Cup qualifiers due to their club commitments in Japan, are back in the fold. Also called up were midfield Tahnai Annis and forward Chandler McDaniel, the heroes of the team's qualifying campaign in September 2021.

Annis scored two goals in two matches against Nepal and Hong Kong, while McDaniel shone in both games and scored the match-winner against Hong Kong in the 87th minute.

The squad's newcomers include Dominique Randle, Tara Sleton, Isabella Flanigan, Carleigh Frilles, Keanna Alamo, Katrina Quillou, and Kiara Fontanilla.

The full team is as follows:

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The team has been training in Irvine, California since November 2021 in preparation for the tournament, which offers five spots to the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.

The Filipinas are grouped with tournament favorites Australia and Southeast Asian rivals Thailand and Indonesia in Group B. The top two teams in each group and two best third-placed teams will progress to the knockout stage.