AFC Women’s Asian Cup Quarterfinals: Pune, India- The Philippines claimed its new status as a “World Cup nation.”

Members of the Philippine team celebrate their unprecedented entry to the Women’s World Cup.



Pinays in wonderland


Seal historic world cup stint


MANILA, Philippines — Hello, world.

From a football minnow that dreamt big, the Philippines completed its amazing transformation into one of the world’s elite teams contending for football’s centerpiece prize.

Behind a gutsy performance that led to a thrilling 4-3 victory on penalties over Chinese-Taipei in Sunday night’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup quarterfinals in Pune, India, the Philippines claimed its new status as a “World Cup nation.”

This famous triumph sent the history-making Filipina booters to the next staging of the FIFA Women’s World Cup – the stomping ground of global powers led by four-time winner United States, two-time champion Germany and 2011 title holder Japan – set 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.

“It’s an unbelievable achievement by the group and a moment in history for the country,” said coach Alen Stajcic after his charges advanced to the WAC semis and earned the distinction of being the first Philippine football side to qualify for the prestigious world meet.



“For now, every young kid back home in the Philippines can be inspired to get to the World Cup themselves,” he said.

The brave Filipinas pulled off a memorable clincher that was celebrated with as much passion back home by supporters who stayed glued to the TV coverage until midnight.

The Taiwanese, who forced a 1-1 stalemate with Zhou Li-Ping’s 82nd-minute blast, put the Pinay booters on the brink in the penalty shootout when they grabbed a 3-2 lead after the first four spot kicks.

Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel, however, saved the day, coming through with two big-time stops plus the tying PK (penalty kick) before forward Sarina Bolden wrapped it up with the golden goal.

“It was a make-or-break right then and you had to show up for the team. There’s nothing going through my mind except, ‘You’re going to make this save, you’re going to do this,’” said McDaniel of her crucial save against Taipei’s fifth kicker, Su Sin-Yun, and designated PK taker in the sudden death, Zhou Li-Ping.

The celebrated triumph sustained the Filipinas’ assault on the record books in the WAC. Back in the group stage, McDaniel and Co. scored a 1-0 breakthrough against regular tormentor Thailand, had a fighting 4-0 loss to fancied Australia and routed Indonesia, 6-0, to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.

The 64th-ranked Filipinas can add to the growing feats by beating Korea in the semifinals on Thursday. The Koreans advanced at the expense of the Matildas, 1-0.



Related video:

Olmin Leyba – The Philippine Star


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