Tuesday, May 28, 2013
THE Philippine Women’s football team, also known as the Malditas, failed in its bid to qualify for next year’s AFC Women’s Cup finals but it definitely made a big impact in terms of the achievements in its three games for the Group B matches last week held at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Bangladesh.
First, it surprised I.R. Iran 6-0, before suffering a heartbreaking 0-1 loss to powerhouse Thailand and clinching its last game with a 4-0 victory against host Bangaldesh. It gave us a preview how our women’s football team has evolved in the last couple of years and what it could offer in the future.
Here are some thoughts on their campaign:
1. Proud Pinays. Although the team did not qualify for the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup finals where the top five nations will play for the 2015 World Cup, the young Malditas proved its mettle against the top teams in Asia.
It was unfortunate that we lost to Thailand, but not before giving them a big scare. Many people were surprised by the Malditas’ performance. We should be proud of this and we expect our team to progress in the next stages of FIFA womens’ football tournaments. We give our kudos to the coaching staff and to the Philippine Football Federation for supporting our team all the way.
2. Football Forward. With this latest accomplishment by our football team, interest of the game increases, especially among our younger players. It’s the reason why it is very important that we have this grassroots program implemented by the football association (FA). The PFF should be credited for handling our football program well, thanks to the top honcho, of course headed by Mr. Mariano Araneta. More tournaments for the youth and developing our coaching staffs and referees by sending them to trainings will make our country compete in the next level against the rest. It takes one step at a time but we foresee that in the next five years our football will be in full swing.
3. Credit for the Coach. We like the attitude of team coach Ernie Nierras for taking all the responsibility for the team’s performance. We seldom see this trait from coaches and it’s worth emulating. It’s good to hear that coach Nierras is planning to have a roadmap for our women’s football and hopes to attract more quality players from the country as well as abroad. What’s great about coach Nierras is that he’s willing to share his experience and expertise to football enthusiasts and he is open to improve further the current lineup. I think this team is in great hands. (Junjun Carballo/Contributor)