MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine ladies’s soccer crew has turn out to be the toast of the nation after their history-making victory over Chinese language Taipei on January 30 within the 2022 AFC Girls’s Asian Cup.
The win not solely catapulted the Philippines to the semifinals together with conventional regional powerhouses Japan, South Korea, and China, but it surely additionally awarded the Philippines a spot within the 2023 FIFA World Cup. Earlier than this achievement, no crew from the Philippines has ever certified for probably the most prestigious soccer occasion.
Listed here are some attention-grabbing info in regards to the crew that has given a lot delight to a whole nation.
One of many youngest squads within the Asian Cup
With a median age of simply 23 years outdated, the Philippines is tied with host India for the third-youngest rosters within the competitors.
The youngest groups within the match are Indonesia which has a median age of 21.6 years outdated, and Myanmar with a median age of twenty-two.7. The oldest groups are South Korea which has a median age of 27.9, and China with a median age of 27 years outdated.
Workforce captain Tahnai Annis, who scored two objectives in opposition to Indonesia, is probably the most seasoned campaigner of the Philippines at 32 years outdated. No different participant within the lineup is over 30 years outdated.
Twelve gamers within the Philippine squad are aged 24 years outdated and under. The youngest is Isabella Flanigan, who is popping 17 years outdated on February 22. Flanigan, who got here in as a reliever within the video games versus Thailand and Indonesia, is the third-youngest participant in your entire match.
There are three different youngsters within the Philippine crew – 18-year-old Keanne Alamo, who was a part of the Philippine under-16 crew in 2019; 19-year-old Carleigh Frilles, who was the captain of the Philippine under-14 crew in 2016; and 18-year-old defender Malea Cesar.
Frilles and Cesar have confirmed to be key parts of the Philippine rotation. Cesar scored a purpose in opposition to Indonesia whereas Frilles was one of many three substitutes within the quarterfinals victory over Chinese language Taipei.
The Philippine crew has seen numerous iterations of its roster within the totally different tournaments that it has participated. However there have been 4 gamers who’ve served as constants for the crew. On their veteran shoulders had been constructed the inspiration of the nationwide ladies’s crew program which has progressed to the place it’s now, a World Cup qualifier and one of many high 4 groups in Asian soccer.
The longest serving nationwide crew member is Camille Rodriguez. The 27-year-old former Ateneo captain first performed for the nationwide senior crew as a 16-year-old within the 2011 AFF Championships the place she scored a purpose in opposition to Malaysia. The Zamboanga Metropolis native has scored eight objectives in 33 appearances for the nationwide crew.
Goalkeeper Inna Palacios has been sidelined for probably the most a part of the match on account of damage, however the two-time UAAP Greatest Goalkeeper for De La Salle College has probably the most caps at 47 among the many present nationwide crew members.
The anchor of the Philippine protection within the Asian Cup, co-captain Hali Lengthy, can also be the main purpose scorer amongst all present members of the nationwide crew. Lengthy, a teammate of Rodriguez for the Kaya-Iloilo membership, has scored 11 objectives in 45 appearances for the Philippine crew. She first donned the Philippine uniform as a 21-year-old within the 2016 AFF Championships.
One other DLSU Girl Booter, Sara Castaneda, made her debut for the senior squad of the nationwide crew within the 2015 AFF Championships. Castaneda, who scored the primary level for the Philippines within the penalty shootout versus Chinese language Taipei, is second to Lengthy amongst energetic nationwide crew members in objectives scored with 10. The 25-year-old Castaneda is third in appearances for the nationwide crew with 44.
Six members of the Philippine crew have harnessed their abilities in numerous components of the world.
Tahnai Annis started her skilled profession in 2012 with Þór/KA within the Úrvalsdeild kvenna, the highest tier ladies’s league in Iceland. She was one of many membership’s high purpose scorers and performed for the Þór/KA within the UEFA Girls’s Champion’s League.
Katrina Giullou is one among seven within the match who performs membership soccer in Sweden. Three members of Australia’s Matildas, two Japanese, and one Thai are additionally professional footballers in Sweden.
Giullou is a midfielder for Piteå IF, which sees motion in Sweden’s top-division ladies’s league, Damallsvenskan. She had beforehand performed professionally within the premier ladies’s league of Finland.
One other Philippine midfielder, Jessica Miclat, is a member of the Aris Limassol, an expert ballclub which performs within the Cyprus league. Miclat additionally has performed for AaB Kvinder within the Elitedivisionen, the highest ladies’s division in Denmark.
The Philippine crew’s utility, Eva Madarang, who has been switched to proper again from her pure ahead place, has been a fixture in Europe since 2020. She started her professional profession within the Italian second division for Roma Calcio Femminile. She then transferred in 2021 to Spain after she was signed by Segunda División Professional membership CD Pozoalbense.
Two Filipina forwards who scored in opposition to Chinese language Taipei started their post-college soccer careers within the Taiwan league. Quinley Quezada and Sarina Bolden each performed for Xinbei Hangyuan within the Taiwan Mulan Soccer League in 2020. The 2 finally took their abilities to the WE League, the primary fully-professional ladies’s soccer league in Japan, in 2021.
Quezada performs for the JEF United Ichihara Chiba Women, who at the moment sit at fourth place within the WE League standings. A teammate of Quezada in Japan is Cheng Ssu-yu, the Chinese language Taipei goalkeeper whom the Philippines went up in opposition to in Sunday’s quarterfinals penalty shoot-out.
Bolden, who delivered the clincher for the Philippines in opposition to Chinese language Taipei, is a part of the Chifure AS Elfen Saitama.
Prime-notch teaching workers
The Philippines’ excellent efficiency on the pitch didn’t come by chance because it’s a product of lengthy hours of planning and preparation by a braintrust made up of elite degree strategists.
A lot has been mentioned in regards to the brilliance of Philippine head coach Alen Stajcic as he’s some of the achieved tacticians in ladies’s soccer.
In 2014, he coached Australia to a second-place end within the Asian Championships. He additionally led the Matildas to a Spherical of 16 victory over Brazil within the 2015 World Cup to earn for Australia a spot within the quarterfinals the place it was crushed by Japan. Within the 2016 Rio Olympics, he steered Australia to a different quarterfinal end. With Stajcic on the helm, Australia reached No. 5 within the FIFA world rankings.
Stajcic is surrounded by a crew which leaves no element unexamined in making certain the Filipina booters are prepared each time they take the sphere, no matter who the opponent is.
When Stajcic was appointed head coach of the Philippines, he knew he wanted assist so he introduced together with him Nahuel Arrarte. The 2 labored collectively within the Australian nationwide ladies’s soccer crew the place Arrarte was assistant coach and video coordinator from 2017 to 2019.
Final 12 months, Arrarte joined the teaching workers of the Western Sydney Wanderers FC, an expert membership in Australia’s premier league. One among Western Sydney’s house owners is Philippine crew supervisor Jefferson Cheng.
One member of the teaching workers who understands the fun and stress of placing on the nationwide crew jersey is Patrice Impelido. As the previous captain of the Philippine crew, Impelido has performed in opposition to nearly your entire discipline within the Asian Cup. Impelido had her first cap within the 2005 Southeast Asian Video games. Her final stint as a part of the nationwide crew was within the 2019 SEA Video games which the nation hosted. Impelido at the moment serves as one of many coaches within the Astra Soccer Academy, a soccer academy based mostly in Canada.
Olivia McDaniel and Kiara Fontanilla have each impressed on this match, and a part of the credit score goes to goalkeeping coach Ludovic Antunes, who has intensive expertise in growing younger goalkeepers. He has been a goalkeeper coach, evaluator, and teacher since 2012 in numerous coaching golf equipment throughout Paris, France.
Girls’s soccer legend Marielle Benitez, whereas doing the protection for the Philippine-Chinese language Taipei duel, remarked that she had not seen any of the Philippine gamers cramping, a testomony to the excellent conditioning of the squad. Answerable for the power and conditioning of the squad is Italian Luca Tonetti, who is also a part of the Western Sydney Wanderers as head power and conditioning coach.
Shedding file vs remainder of the sphere
Host India is the one crew among the many 11 taking part squads within the Asian Cup that the Philippines had not performed in opposition to within the final 14 years.
Out of the ten groups it had beforehand battled, the Philippines had solely crushed two groups, Iran and Indonesia.
The Philippines’ pre-tournament head-to-head file in opposition to the groups it was going to face within the Asian Cup was not very encouraging.
World No. 38 Thailand owned 12 prior victories over the Filipinas. Essentially the most lopsided of those wins got here within the 2008 ASEAN Soccer Federation (AFF) Championship when it thrashed the Philippines, 12-0.
Their most up-to-date match within the 2019 AFF Championship noticed the Philippines race to a 2-1 lead courtesy of a brace by Quinley Quezada, just for Thailand to get better with three second-half objectives to win the sport.
Australia, at the moment eleventh within the FIFA world rankings, defeated the Philippines of their solely encounter in 2008, 7-0.
The Philippines had a extra respectable file – one win, one loss, and one draw – versus world No. 94 Indonesia, the one crew the Philippines has performed to this point that’s decrease within the FIFA world rankings. Within the 2018 AFF Championship, Eva Madarang scored in further time to salvage a 3-3 draw for the Philippines.
The Philippines’ quarterfinal foe, Chinese language Taipei, is a crew it had not beforehand crushed. Within the 2018 AFC Olympic qualifiers, Chinese language Taipei simply dispatched the Philippines, 5-0. Their final matchup occurred in 2020 within the second spherical of AFC Olympic qualifiers. Chinese language Taipei overcame an early 2-0 lead by the Philippines and pulled off a 4-2 victory. – Rappler.com