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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 9, 2018
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Football women’s team faces
China PR today in Asian Cup


After an overwhelming 2-1 win against host Jordan, the Philippines Women’s Football team will face China today (9:45 p.m., PH time) in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 at the King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman in Jordan.

Philippines’ head coach Rabah Benlarbi, who was on China’s coaching staff at the last Olympics, has revealed that the Filipinas are motivated to succeed as they too go in search of a three-point haul that could well see them through to the knockout phase and guarantee their participation at next year’s World Cup.

The Southeast Asians began their bid for glory with an impressive come-from-behind win over Jordan, a result which, according to Benlarbi, leaves his charges well and truly on track to realize their pre-tournament plans.

“We started with a win against the hosts, and in our plans before we came to Jordan we had always envisaged taking three points from our first match,” he explained.

“The team is very motivated indeed, and if we can beat China it would be excellent for us as it would virtually assure us of a place at the World Cup.

“I know China’s players, and I know their strengths, and their weaknesses. They have changed some players, but they are still a very strong team.

“We have very different targets compared to China, they must not only qualify for the World Cup, but also reach the final of this tournament. For us, reaching the World Cup would be a great achievement.”

Despite having little time to prepare, Benlarbi was also quick to underline that he is more than happy with the various components throughout his side and, just as importantly, the unity that exists within the Malditas squad.

“We had a very short time to prepare, but making the most of my experience, I tried my very best to select the players who would perform well (at the Women’s Asian Cup).

“It is very important to have a balance, something which I believe we have along with the fact that we live together, we win together and we die together.”*afc.com


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