SyndicatedManila BulletinExpectations, excitement build up as Filipinas brace for Women World Cup draw

Expectations, excitement build up as Filipinas brace for Women World Cup draw

Expectations and excitement build up as the Philippine women’s national football team braces to know its future opponents in the World Cup when the official draw kicks off at the Aotea Center in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, Oct 22.

The Filipinas join 32 other nations, including three more who are vying for slots through the inter-continental playoff in February next year, in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Filipina booters will be one of the five debutantes in the most prestigious tournament co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to Aug. 20 next year, punching their ticket after being semifinalists in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup early this year.

That said, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta expressed his excitement for the official draw which will be attended by PWNFT team manager Jefferson Cheng and head coach Alen Stajcic.

“It’s a really exciting time for Philippine football as we will finally determine which teams we will be facing in our first FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance,” said Araneta. “To be part of the tournament is already a tremendous honor for the country, but we also have to dream big and come up with a good showing.”

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PFF general-secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes, for his part, said the draw will help the federation in plotting the remaining months as far as the team’s preparation is concerned.

“We will definitely pull out all the stops to ensure that the team will go into the World Cup as prepared as possible,” said Gastanes.

The Filipinas, since bagging the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship title last July here, had competed in several friendlies and set up training camps both in California and Costa Rica to ramp up their preparations for the World Cup.

Just recently, the nationals have engaged with Costa Rica twice, settling for a draw for the first time before yielding in their second encounter.

It has been a satisfactory result though for Stajcic but he believes that the Filipinas, currently ranked No. 53, have to improve the “technical” part of their game.

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In the draw, the Filipinas were placed in Pot 4 alongside Nigeria (No. 45), South Africa (No. 54), Morocco (No. 76), Zambia (No. 81), and three more countries that have yet to be determined in the play-off.

The Filipina booters, however, cannot be grouped up with fellow AFC teams Australia, South Korea, Japan, China, and Vietnam as FIFA’s general principle for the tournament states that “teams from the same qualifying zone cannot be drawn into the same group, except for Europe.”

Each group then will have a minimum of one team from UEFA with three – and potentially four – groups having two European teams.

There would be eight groups and teams will be drawn randomly from Groups A to H. Each group, consisting of four teams, would have one team draw at random from each pot except for New Zealand and Australia, which will respectively lead Groups A and B.

Pot 1 is composed of the top-ranked United States of America, Sweden (No. 2), Germany (No. 3), England (No. 4), France (No. 5), and Spain (No. 6).

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Pot 2 consists of Canada (No. 7), the Netherlands (No. 8), Brazil (No. 9), Japan (No. 11), Norway (No. 12), Italy (No. 14), China (No. 15), and Korea (No, 17).

Completing Pot 3 are Denmark (No. 18), Switzerland (No. 21), Ireland (No. 24), Colombia (No. 27), Argentina (No. 29), Vietnam (No. 34), Costa Rica (No. 37), and Jamaica (No. 43).

For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comManila Bulletin

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