With a 18-0 win over Indonesia, title contenders Australia will take the lead in their Women’s Asian Cup Group B match against the Philippines here on Monday.
There will be plenty of focus on head coach Ellen Stagic, but the Philippine boss insists he will put aside his personal feelings when he faces former employer Australia in the long-awaited match.
With Australia scoring 18 goals against Indonesia and a fresh victory over Thailand, the Philippines will face the top team in the group against the second-placed team, with the winners set to advance to the knockout stage with a game at the Mumbai Football Arena. Escape.
With Matildas reaching the finals in the 2014 and 2018 editions, Stagic’s term ended abruptly in early 2019, with the 48-year-old spending time in men’s club football before emerging as the new head coach of the Philippines on the eve of the ongoing tournament. .
“It will obviously be an interesting game for me personally,” he was quoted as saying on the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) website.
“It’s an honor when you coach another national team in this kind of coaching role. My devotion to where I was born and raised will be put aside. I am behind this Philippine team with whom I have spent the last three months. We have developed a really special bond there. “
“We will do everything we can to give them the best opportunity they can to represent their country at the best level they can. And we saw a good example of that against Thailand.”
The Thai game was an unforgettable moment for the Philippines, who had never beaten their regional rivals in 12 attempts at the senior level, and their hopes of reaching the semifinals were turned upside down by Chaba Kaw at the 2018 Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan.
Goal scorers Chandler McDaniel and Sweden-based debutant Katrina Gilou have made good contributions, with wins against Thailand indicating what the Philippines are capable of under the Stage, but they know Australia play a completely different ball game.
“It’s a big weight on the shoulders of the players who have been on this team for a long time,” he said.
“In that respect, they are wonderful but we have finally got a big game against Australia which is such a powerful team and one of the best teams in the world. We really need to refocus for the next match.
Sam Carey scored five goals against Indonesia and Emily Van Egmond scored a hat-trick, leaving Australia with the top two goal scorers and five of the top eight in the tournament.
Australia and the Philippines have met only once before, with Matildas winning the 2008 AFF Championship 7-0.
Meanwhile, after appearing in the Asian Cup for the first time in 33 years, Indonesia is ready to hold back the embarrassing defeat against Australia and take on their Southeast Asian rival Thailand.
Head coach Rudy Eka Priyambada is well aware of how difficult it will be against Thailand – as he has shown in two editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“Thailand have the experience to play in the FIFA World Cup but we have two more matches to play and we want to make an impact. Our players, especially the younger ones, have to try to control the game, “said Priyambada.
“It’s a huge learning curve for us and we want to learn from this tournament for the development of our youth team.”
Thailand played well in the patch against the Philippines but could not find a comfortable rhythm, which allowed them to concede a goal in the 81st minute.
Head coach Mio Okamoto, however, is confident his team will return with a win against Indonesia.
“In our first match, we all did our best but there were a lot of mistakes that need to be corrected,” said Mio Okamoto.
“We can’t just keep the ball in our half, we have to create better opportunities.
“We can’t focus on the previous game, we have to move on.
“There is no time for regret. We have to correct our mistakes and work to improve against Indonesia. We have to do everything to win.”