THE Filipinas routed Chinese-Taipei, 4-1, for a hot start in the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Perth Rectangular Stadium in Australia on Thursday.
But the road ahead becomes tougher for the Filipinas, who made history by bringing the Philippines to the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time last July in New Zealand.
“We really need a lot of luck and prayers if we want to qualify for the Paris Olympics,” Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta told BusinessMirror on the sidelines of the Philippine Olympic Committee General Assembly Friday at the at the East Ocean Seafood Palace Restaurant in Paranaque City.
“Our upcoming opponents will be stronger and are solid in experience,” said Araneta, referring to defending champion Australia which the Philippines faces on Sunday and Iran on Wednesday.
Araneta said that if the Philippines advances from Group A, the third round would be more difficult powerhouse Japan, South Korea, North Korea and China in the fold.
“Imagine how tough it is, when only two Asian nations will go to Paris Games next year through these qualifiers?” Araneta said. “There are 12 teams in the second round then four will go to the third round. So after the third, only two will remain.”
The Filipinas—coached this time by Mark Torcaso, an Australian like Alen Stajcic who steered the team to the World Cup, swept their first round assignements against Pakistan, Tajikistan and Hong Kong.
Hsu Yi Yu’s goal early in the second half gave Chinese-Taipei a head start but striker Sarina Bolden scored on a penalty kick in 54th minute and Katrina Guillou delivered in the 63rd minute for a 2-1 Filipinas lead.
Bolden made a brace in the 83rd minute and Chandler McDaniel punched in the coup de grace in the 90th minute for the lopsided victory.