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Women's World Cup: The Philippines Women's Team Profile

For the first time in their history, the Philippines will be taking part at the women's World Cup after their semi-final finish at the 2022 AFC Asian Cup booked their ticket to Australia and New Zealand. 

Led by Australian tactician Alen Stajcic, the Philippines had overcome Chinese Taipei on penalties in the quarter-final before bumping into eventual runners-up South Korea in the last four.

At 4000/1 To Win Outright, The Philippines will be considered big underdogs in their maiden World Cup and they have been drawn to play against co-hosts New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland in Group A.

The Philippines' World Cup record:

This will be the Philippines' first appearance at a World Cup and it is the country's debut at any major FIFA football competition in their 42-year playing history.

In Southeast Asian football, the Philippines' women's team won their first AFF Women's Championship title in 2022.

They are currently ranked 46th in the women's FIFA ranking, their highest-ever position to date, and they will be hoping to build upon their semi-final efforts at last year's AFC Asian Cup.

How the Philippines qualified:

The 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup was a qualifying event for the World Cup and the Philippines did themselves proud as they made the semi-final to seal their spot in Australia and New Zealand.

The Philippines were no match for Australia in Group B but they won their other two matches to nil against Thailand and Indonesia to advance to the quarter-finals.

In the last eight, the Malditas were drawn against Group A runners-up Chinese Taipei and after a 1-1 draw, they came through 4-3 in a thrilling penalty shootout.

Next up for Stajcic's side was a semi-final showdown with South Korea, who took control of the tie with two first-half goals and went on to triumph 2-0.

However, that run to the final four was still enough to secure a World Cup berth and competing against the game's elite will only ensure they continue to develop as a nation.

The Manager - Alen Stajcic:

The vastly experienced Stajcic has been in the Philippines dugout since October 2021 and has made a significant impact, guiding the Malditas to their maiden World Cup.

The 49-year-old was on hand as the Philippines won the 2022 AFF Women's Championship, the country's first regional trophy by easing past Thailand in the final 3-0.

Prior to taking over, Stajcic was in charge of men's A-League side Central Coast Mariners for two years, having initially taken the reins from Mike Mulvey as caretaker manager.

Stajcic also enjoyed a successful five-year spell in charge of the Australia Women's national team from 2014 to 2019 and during that time, became the only Australian-born head coach to win a match at a FIFA World Cup.

He also oversaw the Matildas qualifying for the Olympic Games for the first time in 12 years but was relieved of his duties in 2019 

Confirmed Philippines Squad:

The Philippines are yet to confirm their squad for the Women's World Cup. Here are the 28 players who have been selected for the provisional squad.

Goalkeepers: Olivia McDaniel (Milwaukee Panthers), Kiara Fontanilla (Central Coast Mariners), Kaiya Jota (Stanford Cardinal), Inna Palacios (Kaya Illoilo)

Defenders: Maya Alcantara (Georgetown Hoyas), Alicia Barker (Pacific Northwest), Angela Beard (Western Union), Reina Bonta (Santos), Malea Cesar (Blacktown City), Jessika Cowart (IFK Kalmar), Sofia Harrison (Werder Bremen), Hali Long (Kaya–Iloilo), Dominique Randle (Por/KA)

Midfielders: Tahnai Annis (Por/KA), Eva Madarang (Blacktown Spartans), Ryley Bugay (Saarbrucken), Anicka Castañeda (Mt Druitt Town Rangers), Sara Eggesvik (Norway KIL/Hemne), Kaya Hawkinson (Central Coast Mariners), Jessica Miclat (Eskilstuna United), Carleigh Frilles (Blacktown Spartans), Isabella Pasion (Lebanon Trail High School), Jaclyn Sawicki (Western United)

Forwards: Katrina Guillou (Pitea IF), Sarina Bolden (Western Sydney Wanderers), Isabella Flanigan (West Virginia Mountaineers), Chandler McDaniel (Milwaukee Panthers), Quinley Quezada (Red Star Belgrade), Meryll Serrano (Stabaek)

The Philippines' Key Players:

Attack-minded midfielder Tahnai Annis, who plays in Iceland with Por/KA, is captain and is not only the creator, but she is a regular source of goals, having netted 13 times in 37 caps.

She is a regular star of the show for the Philippines along with prolific striker Sarina Bolden, who plays to a decent level with the Western Sydney Wanderers in Australia and has racked up 21 goals in only 36 caps.

The majority of the Philippines squad ply their trade in Asia or America but they have a few European representatives, including young defender Sofia Harrison who had been under contract at Werder Bremen.

The 24-year-old left the club in December after three Bundesliga squad call-ups and only one appearance, but she is used to competing against players of a higher calibre and should be capable of progressing with time.

Philippines' Group fixtures:

Group A:
The Philippines v Switzerland, Dunedin, 21st July 2023
New Zealand v The Philippines, Wellington, 25th July 2023
Norway v The Philippines, Auckland, 30th July 2023

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