Philippine Football Team Qualifies for the World Cup

Written by: Joaquin 

Edited by: Jaeho 

Visual by: Summer

On Sunday, January 30, The Philippines’ football team beat Taiwan 4-3 on penalties to earn a place in the Women’s World Cup and a place in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup semifinals. 

Despite fielding a back five during the match, the Philippines maintained good ball possession and attempted to attack whenever the opportunity presented itself. Within the opening 10 minutes of the game, the Filipina booters launched three attempts – one from Sofia Harrison and two from Bolden – but neither player’s efforts resulted in a goal. With the score of the game ending 1-1 in regular time, the game moved into a penalty shoot out where the Philippines came out on top with 4 penalties to 3. After several saves and a successful penalty by goalie Olivia McDaniel, Sarina Bolden scored the game-winning shot.

“It’s a fantastic achievement by the squad, and a historic occasion for the country; you won’t be able to take it away from the group. Now every young kid, girl and boy, back home in the Philippines can be inspired and get to the World Cup themselves. I know that the group is really proud of each other but I know that they’re even more proud that they’ve inspired the next generation,” Alen Stajcic, the Philippines’ head coach, said.

Bringing the subject closer to home, ISM’s Varsity Women’s football Head Coach Mr. Sheard said that, “It was wonderful to see the team qualify for the highest stage. Hopefully this will garner even more attention and attract commercial partners, essential for the game to grow in The Philippines. It’s tough enough going up against regional powerhouses like Japan, South Korea and China, but what was particularly impressive is that they did it with such a young team—they had three teenagers! They are wonderful role models for our young sportswomen here at ISM. I will certainly be cheering them on next year in Australia and New Zealand.” 

Additionally, Riho, a member of ISM’s football team commented that, “ It’s an amazing feeling to know that the Philippine Women’s Team qualified for the World Cup. They came into the AFC Women’s Asian Cup as the underdogs, but showed they could play against some top teams in the World. I think this was a well deserved ticket to the world cup, and I believe many others will say the same. I’m really excited for the Philippine team, and I can’t wait to see what they can do leading up to, and at the World Cup.”

On Thursday, February 3, the Philippines faced South Korea, where they unfortunately lost 0-1, at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, India, with the hopes of achieving yet another goal. While they were not able to win this tournament  they still made history, and now have the opportunity to play on football’s biggest stage. The team has the opportunity to grow the sport in the Philippines where other sports like basketball and volleyball reign supreme. They also now have a chance to bring pride to their country as well as inspire young girls everywhere that even in a field as male-dominated a football, that they can truly achieve anything that they set their minds to.