The Philippines Women’s National Team’s bid for qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 continues with a match against 8-time AFC Women’s Asian Cup champions China PR on Monday 9 April 2018 at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman, Jordan. Kick off is at 4:45 PM local time (9:45 PM Manila time).
The match is the Philippines’ second fixture after their 2-1 win over Jordan last Friday night (Saturday morning in Manila). An own goal from Yasmeen Khair and a Sarina Bolden goal handed the Philippines their first 3 points of the tournament.
For his part, Philippines head coach Rabah Benlarbi stressed how important it was to claim the win over the host.
“We started with a win against the hosts, and in our plans before we came to Jordan we had always envisaged taking three points from our first match,” said Benlarbi. “It is very important to have a balance, something which I believe we have along with the fact that we live together, we win together and we die together.”
A former assistant coach of China PR during the 2016 Rio Olympics, Benlarbi is aware of the capabilities of their opponents. China PR defeated Thailand in their first match, 4-0, with goals from Song Duan, Wang Shuang, and Li Ying.
“I know China’s players, and I know their strengths, and their weaknesses,” the French coach elaborated. “They have changed some players, but they are still a very strong team.”
Going as underdogs for the second time in the tournament, Benlarbi understands that a win can propel the team through to the knockout stages, and a spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“The team is very motivated indeed, and if we can beat China it would be excellent for us as it would virtually assure us of a place at the World Cup,” continued Benlarbi. “For us, reaching the FIFA Women’s World Cup would be a great achievement.”
Photo from Mia Montayre