Sat 19 January 2019

Mission impossible: PH Malditas to face South Korea for final Women’s World Cup bid

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Malditas Captain Patrice Impelido struggles to get past Thailand’s defense in their final elimination game in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Football Federation)


The Philippine women’s national football team’s bid for a slot at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France is still alive despite getting eliminated from the 2018 Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asian Cup in Amman after placing third in Group A with one win and two losses.

The fifth and final slot to football’s biggest stage will be up for grabs on Tuesday, 1 AM (Manila time), as the Malditas will battle against world number 16 South Korea in the battle for fifth place.

The Koreans, ranked higher than China and Thailand who outplayed the Malditas, 3-0 and 3-1, respectively, placed third in Group B despite tying Australia and Japan with one win and two draws due to goalless draws against the top two nations.

The Koreans blanked hapless Vietnam, 4-0, while Japan and Australia eked out a 1-1 draw Friday, the last day of elimination games.

Tha Aussies topped Group B with a superior +8 goal difference over the +4 Japan and South Korea. Japan, however, secured the fourth World Cup ticket by scoring in their draw against Australia while South Korea never scored a goal in their two draws, relegating the Taeguks to third place.

Even if the Malditas, ranked 72 in the world, have played their best Asian Cup since 1999 with a -4 goal difference despite playing far superior teams in China, Thailand, and Jordan, they will face their toughest opponent yet in South Korea.

The last match between the Philippines and South Korea was in the 2008 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers in Vietnam, where the Malditas lost 0-4 against the Taeguks.



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