When the AFC Women’s Asian Cup begins on Friday, all eyes will be on ace midfielder Sara Castañeda as she looks to continue where she left off during the qualifiers.
The midfielder put the Philippines through to their first Women’s Asian Cup appearance after scoring the equalizing goal against Bahrain during the qualifiers last year.
Having scored the goal to qualify for the Women’s Asian Cup, Castañeda finds the opportunity of playing in the tournament as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“(We’re) mainly just excited about it,” said Castañeda. “(Qualifying for Jordan) was the goal not only for me, but also for the entire Philippine team.”
Under head coach Rabah Benlarbi, the midfielder has fully embraced her role as one of the team’s vital midfield cogs.
“Coach Rabah’s style of play focuses (a lot) on possession,” added the midfielder. “(The tournament) will be challenging but we’re going to try our best (to perform).”
Castañeda has the perfect chance to show her potential when the Philippines faces the best teams in Asia.
“We’re going to face Jordan, China PR, and Thailand (in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup),” shared Castañeda. “If we make it through, it will be the first time we will reach the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and will be an impressive feat for the whole football community.”
Photo from Mia Montayre