Football: PH taking it one step at a time in historic AFC Women’s Asian Cup run


Posted at Jan 28 2022 11:44 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2022 12:01 AM

Photo courtesy of the AFC.
Photo courtesy of the AFC.

MANILA - The Philippine women's football team is one win away from notching its first FIFA World Cup spot. 

On top of that, the Philippines for the first time in history moved on to the knockout stages of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, after sweeping Indonesia in the group stages of the tilt, 6-0.

For center-back Dominic Randle, it's all about "taking things one step at a time" en route to securing that historic world cup slot for the Philippines and forging the country's best record yet in women's football. 

"It's really easy to look ahead and we're also excited, so proud to represent the Philippines and just realizing all the hard work and the preparation we've been doing, and reminding ourselves that the process starts one game at a time," Randle told reporters at a virtual press conference. 

Now, the Filipinas are zeroed in on securing the World Cup slot and remembering their goal of qualifying for the world stage, midfielder Jessica Miclat said. 

"As much as the recognition and everything that's being said is nice, we just have to continue to go to every game remembering and knowing the end goal which is to qualify for the world cup," Miclat said. 

With the win, the Filipinas are regarded as a force to be reckoned with by other competing squads. 

Even Australia coach Tony Gustavvson, whose squad dealt a 0-4 defeat to the Filipinas said they were the one to "watch out". 

The Philippine team believes they could "do even more" and reach a fuller potential than what they've already shown. 

"We've brought a lot of intensity. Australian people saw that in the first 45 minutes of how strong we could be defensively and last night we got to see a little more of our attack and our possession," Randle said. 

"But we know from our training and from our preparation that we could combine all of those things together so I think we still have a lot more to show and I think a lot of people called us underdogs and really written us off but we know how strong we can be," Randle said. 

The Philippines will face Chinese Taipei on Sunday. Both squads finished second in their respective groups. Both Miclat and Randle said the squad will go all out for that historic World Cup spot, which is on the line in the match. 

"Every game matters, this is a game of football, statistics and rankings they don't really matter going into each game so we're going to treat it just as we played Australia or Thailand and just go in relentless and work hard," Miclat said. 

Randle added: "Every time we put on a jersey or have a Filipino flag on we are focused on winning our moment in that point in time our trainings have been very intense and a lot of great energy so we hope to bring that in our matchup which is Taipei." 

"And if we trust our preparation we are focused on winning each of our moments and our battles that we've had, I think we'll be having a really great chance of putting up a great game against Chinese Taipei."

Kick-off for what would be the Filipinas' most historic game yet will be at 10 p.m on January 30.