The Philippine Women’s National Football Team, affectionately known as the Filipinas, has set off on its historic journey into the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The team’s first game in the prestigious tournament is scheduled today, Friday, July 21, 2023, in New Zealand, marking the first time the Philippines will showcase its talents on this global stage after over a quarter of a century of aspiring to qualify.
The Filipinas cemented their place in the history books of Philippine football by outplaying Thailand and Indonesia, then getting the better of Chinese Taipei in the AFC Women’s Cup quarterfinals in India last January 2022.
Although this is their World Cup debut, it’s vital to remember that this underdog team has made an impressive leap, earning their first AFC semi-final spot last year and claiming the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship trophy.
Experts in the sport anticipate that the Filipinas have a solid chance, especially being in Group A alongside Switzerland, New Zealand, and Norway. The presence of Alen Stajcic, the former coach of Australia’s 8-time World Cup qualifying team, at the helm has only added to their promising prospects.
Stajcic shed light on the team’s spirit and expectations, saying in the FIFA report, “Obviously we’re the underdog and everyone knows we’re the underdog in the group. So everything’s going to be tough for us.” He stressed the importance of mindset and confidence, stating that success is defined by “the players walking on the pitch on any given day and knowing that there are in with a chance of winning the game.”
The 23-strong Filipinas squad, captained by Tahnai Annis, boasts a solid lineup. The talented Olivia McDaniel, whose double penalty saves helped secure the team’s World Cup spot, joins Kiara Fontanilla and Kaiya Jota as the team’s goalkeepers. Sarina Bolden and Quinley Quezada, the team’s leading scorers, along with new recruit Angela Beard, will form the offensive and defensive backbone of the team.
Here are the members of the Filipinas at the 2023 Women’s World Cup:
- Goalkeepers: Kiara Fontanilla, Kaiya Jota, Olivia McDaniel
- Defenders: Alicia Barker, Angela Beard, Reina Bonta, Malea Cesar, Jessika Cowart, Sofia Harrison, Hali Long, Dominique Randle
- Midfielders: Tahnai Annis, Ryley Bugay, Anicka Castañeda, Sara Eggesvik, Quinley Quezada, Jaclyn Sawicki
- Forwards: Sarina Bolden, Isabella Flanigan, Carleigh Frilles, Katrina Guillou, Chandler McDaniel, Meryll Serrano
The Filipinas are set to start their campaign against Switzerland in Dunedin on July 21, followed by matches against co-hosts New Zealand in Wellington on July 25, and Norway in Auckland.
Catch these games live on Cignal TV and its free-to-air channel, One Sports. Additionally, the matches will be live-streamed on the Pilipinaslive app. Here is the Philippines’ Group A schedule:
- July 21: Philippines vs. Switzerland at 1 PM Philippine Standard Time (19:00 local time, Dunedin Stadium)
- July 25: New Zealand vs. Philippines at 1:30 PM Philippine Standard Time (17:30 local time, Wellington Regional Stadium)
- July 30: Norway vs. Philippines at 3 PM Philippine Standard Time (19:00 local time, Eden Park)
The Filipinas begin their historic bid at the FIFA Women's World Cup today. Here are the game schedules and how to watch them live in the Philippines @PilipinasWNFT @FIFAWorldCup #LabanFilipinas https://t.co/CgHUtzJKbM
— GoodNewsPilipinas.com (@GoodNewsPinas_) July 21, 2023
This historic moment in Philippine football shines a light on the sport’s growth in the country and the rising prominence of Team Filipinas on the world stage. It’s more than a tournament; it’s the story of determination, perseverance, and national pride. Make sure you tune in to cheer on the Filipinas as they embark on their journey in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
SEND WELL WISHES in the comments below to the Filipinas as they make history at the FIFA Women’s World Cup!
Good News Pilipinas is a Lasallian Scholarum Awardee. TELL US your good news story tips by messaging GoodNewsPilipinas.com on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org