MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines will field a new and “dynamic” system in the qualifying stages of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
Skipper and goalkeeper Inna Palacios will lead her 22-woman team in the qualifiers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to take on Hong Kong and Nepal in Group F.
“It’s a dynamic kind of football,” said Palacios during a virtual press conference on Wednesday. “We are learning to hold the ball and at the same time make plays for everyone. We are evolving into what football is right now.”
The Philippines, which is no. 68 in Fifa rankings, is the highest-ranked country in its group with Hong Kong listed at no. 78 and Nepal at no. 101.
The Malditas will take on Nepal on September 18 and Hong Kong on the 24th at JAR Stadium in Tashkent.
“We’ve evolved with the sport and it’s not just like a plain kick and run, it’s really about holding the ball then making plays available for everyone.”
The Malditas are looking to march into a new era with returning coach Marlon Maro, who is making his first appearance on the sidelines in 14 years, as they try to book a spot in the 2022 Asian Cup in India and inclusion in the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
The Philippines’ previous international tournament ended in disappointment after the team finished fourth in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games which the country hosted.
“With the tactics that we have, we are confident that we will follow the game plan. What you can expect from us is we’ll play our best and we’re very much motivated by the campaign that we have #RememberTheGoal in our heads at all times,” said Palacios.
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