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Filipinas eye crowd support

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PWNFT/FB Hali Long and the Filipinas are banking on crowd support when they battle Chinese Taipei on Thursday in Perth in the AFC Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The Philippine national women’s football team will be banking on the Filipino crowd to cheer the players on as the second round of the Asian Football Confederation Olympic Qualifying Tournament kicks off Thursday.

Filipinas head coach Mark Torcaso said he hopes the Filipinos in Australia will troop to the Perth Rectangular Stadium for their first match against Chinese Taipei at 4 p.m.

The Philippines is eyeing a spot for the 2024 Paris Olympics and will have to beat the Taiwanese, Australia on 29 October and Iran on 1 November in Group A.

“I’m aware that there’s a big supporter base in Perth so I’m looking forward to seeing the fans and supporting our girls and we will give our best shot,” Torcaso said.

“I’m sure that the country is proud of whatever these girls do so we’re looking forward to going out there and performing for our country.”

The best team in each group and the best second-place team will advance to the third and final round of the qualifiers for two slots available for the Paris Olympics.

Ace forward Sarina Bolden will again be on the frontline for the Filipinas along with the likes of forward Quinley Quezada, midfielders Sara Eggesvik and Bella Pasion, defenders Hali Long and Angela Beard and goalkeepers Olivia McDaniel and Inna Palacios.

Torcaso said he is certain once the team gets to Perth, the best players available will be assembled for this year’s Olympic qualifiers.

“There are still a lot of players that aren’t here in this camp so we have another 10-12 players that are waiting for us in Perth we’re as prepared as we can be but we also have to meet some more players in Perth and bring them all together and have our selection of 22 players.”

The Filipinas will be on high alert against Lee Hsiu-Chin as she will be a focal point for the Taiwanese with 19 goals in 28 games with Lai Li-Chin, who had 16 goals in 20 appearances for the national team.

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