Photo from AFC

The national women’s football team looks to put up a good performance against highly-touted Australia when the two square off Monday, Jan. 24 in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Though massive underdogs going into the 6 p.m. Manila time match in Mumbai, India, the Philippines is in high spirits after pulling off a shock 1-0 win over Thailand to kick off its bid for a spot in next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Australia not only boasts of being one of the world’s best teams but it also pummeled Indonesia, 18-0, to open the campaign in the continental tournament.

But the likes of Chandler McDaniel, Katrina Guillou, Olivia McDaniel, Quinley Quezada, Hali Long and Dominique Randle are hoping to at least equal their efforts against Thailand.

A subplot in the Group B encounter is the first meeting between PH coach Alen Stajcic and his former team which he was in charge from 2014 to 2019.

Stajcic steered his home country to quarterfinal berths in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics and runner-up finishes in the last two editions of the Asian Cup in 2014 and 2018.

He will try to give the Philippine side something to build on as it aims to succeed in its initial goal of reaching the quarterfinals.

It will be only the second meeting between the two countries in women’s football based on records available online.

Australia dominated the Philippines, 7-0, during the 2008 ASEAN Football Federation championship in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Meanwhile, host India has pulled out of the tournament after its match against Taiwan in Navi Mumbai was cancelled due to COVID-19.

India failed to have at least 13 players before the contest due to infections that hit the squad and has been considered to have withdrawn from the tourney, the AFC said Sunday.

All of India matches in Group A were stricken off the standings in Group A which also consists of China and Iran.

Source: Manila Bulletin (