With their AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 drawing to a close, head coach Rabah Benlarbi looked back on a campaign that saw the Philippines go so close of clinching a berth to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Philippines fought toe-to-toe against Korea Republic, but the East Asians’ vast experience ultimately decided the match. The Philippines defeated Jordan, but lost to China PR, Thailand, and Korea Republic to finish the tournament sixth overall.
“I think at the beginning of the game we disturbed them a little, as we had changed the system we were using,” remarked Benlarbi after the match. “We must now work very hard going forward in order to raise ourselves up to the level of a side such as Korea Republic.”
Even though the Philippines faced faced far more stronger teams in the Women’s Asian Cup, Benlarbi is confident that the country can mount a challenge against the very best teams in the continent the next time the team faces a formidable opponent.
“We did well because nobody was expecting us to be in the last six,“ added Benlarbi. “The team has a good opportunity (moving forward) because they have already played against the best teams in Asia.
Photo from Mia Montayre