September 14 ------ THE Philippine women’s football team is set to return to the pitch in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 qualifiers starting on September 18 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The Malditas open hostilities against Nepal on September 18 at the JAR Stadium at 3 p.m. (6 p.m. Philippine Standard Time) in Group F, before capping the qualifiers on September 24 against Hong Kong at 3 p.m. (6 p.m. PST). The top team in each of the eight groups will clinch a berth in the Women’s Asian Cup set from January 20 to February 6.
Twenty-two players have been called up for the qualifiers with goalkeeper Inna Palacios serving as team captain and defender Hali Long as co-captain following a training camp in Irvine, California from August 4 to September 11. The Marlon Maro-coached squad also included midfielders Tahnai Annis and Jessica Miclat, and defender Ryley Bugay following their inclusion in the team in the 2018 edition in Jordan. Forward Arianna LePage and goalkeeper Isabelle Mapanao, former members of the youth team, are the newcomers.
Rounding out the squad supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and MVP Sports Foundation are goalkeeper Olivia Davies McDaniel, defenders Sofia Harrison, Chelo Hodges, Tara Shelton, and Patricia Tomanon, midfielders Sara Castaneda, Anicka Castaneda, Malea Cesar, Charisa Lemoran, Rocelle Mendano, Camille Rodriguez, Alyssa Ube, and Camille Wilson, and forwards Alisha Del Campo, and Chandler McDaniel.
The assistant coaches are Michael Agbayani, Jose Maria Aberasturi, Marlon Pinero, Anthony Albao, and Rose Ton Barinan.