'We want to be brave': Filipinas aim to be aggressors vs mighty Matildas
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s national team plans to go on the offensive when they face World No. 11 Australia in the 2nd round of the AFC Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Perth on Sunday.
Energized by a convincing 4-1 win over Chinese Taipei on Thursday, Filipinas head coach Mark Torcaso has no doubt his girls will throw everything but the kitchen sink against their foes.
Unlike the Matildas’ first opponent in Iran, whom the hosts beat 2-nil, Torcaso believes his team will be bringing more of an offensive challenge.
“It was pretty surprising in the way that [Iran] defended against Australia, obviously, it’s expected but you know they found a way to score two goals so they got the three points and that’s all that really matters in the end for them,” said Torcaso in a media availability on Friday.
“You know, we saw Iran just defended literally 90 minutes and wasted a lot of time of football, but I think for us, we want to be brave,” he added.
The Filipinas are in no way unfamiliar with the challenge of facing a top team, coming off the Asian Games in China where they faced Top 20 teams in South Korea and Japan. They also had experience against the likes of New Zealand (26th), Switzerland (21st), and Norway (13th) in the World Cup.
So now with a higher-ranked home team in their way, Torcaso believes his players will be able to step up to the plate.
“We wanna accept and take this challenge of playing against a top side and just give the girls the opportunity to go out there and enjoy the moment and whatever comes from that game comes from that game,” said the Aussie coach.
“But we truly believe that they can get something out of this result, out of this game and get a good result, but we’re definitely looking forward to it.”
The Filipinas are not just bracing for the Matildas and its stars led by Sam Kerr, but they’re also getting ready for a hostile crowd at Perth Stadium. But even with probably tens of thousands of fans going up against them, the Filipinas will look to tune out the noise.
“It’s gonna be in front of a lot of people, which our girls have had some experience with so, yeah, we’ll worry about us and the way that we want to play. And