PH U16 girls football team hopes to bounce back against Taiwan
MELAKA, Malaysia – After a trouncing by Myanmar on Sunday, October 5, the Teen Malditas on Tuesday face off against Taiwan in the Asian Football Confederation U16 Women’s Champion Qualifiers in Malaysia.
The Teen Malditas, the Philippine women’s team for ages 16 and under, were visibly tired and struggling during their match Sunday when they lost 6-0 to Myanmar.
“Even when they were down, they kept fighting,” said Buda Bautista, a coach of the Philippine team.
The team includes 10 members of the U14 Philippine team that brought home a surprise upset silver place victory in the Asian Football Confederation tournament in Vietnam in July. But, Coach Bautista noted, this year’s 16-year-old team had minimal preparation time for this week’s tournament.
“Preparation was a factor,” she said after the game. “They only had two weeks of training, and there was a lack of fitness. You could see it on the field.”
On Tuesday, the Philippines plays Taiwan, which is so far undefeated in the tournament. On Sunday, the team from Taipei beat Cambodia 7-0. The Philippines plays Cambodia on Thursday. The Philippine team technically could still be in contention to win the tournament if they beat Taiwan and Cambodia.
The winner of the four team group – made up of the Philippines, Cambodia, Taiwan and Myanmar – will go onto to play the in Asian Football Confederation U16 Women’s Championship in China in 2015. The top two finishers in that tournament will go onto the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup to be held in Jordan in 2016 and organized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
The Teen Malditas are led by head coach Joyce Landagan; goalkeeper coach Melissa Chris Marquez; coach Buda Bautista and team manager Rolette Divine Bernando.
The players include 11 girls from last year’s U14 team, including Itsuko Bacatan, Jennifer Baroin, Yasmin Elauria, Patricia Francisco, Tejanee Isulat, Jan Reese Jumawan, Tenelyn Otom, Joyce Semacio, Arantxa Trebol, Annika Velez and Lindsay Whaley.
Other players include Joannah Adao, Joanna Almeda, Bianca Almeda, Icee Calimbo, Riza Carmona, Alexa Ceniza, Kaitlyn Dabalos, Angela De Luna, Cecile Deita, Mikhaela Jumawan, Natasha Lacson, and Khryztel Muring.
The tournament is being held at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka, Malaysia.