by Jonas Terrado
The Philippine Malditas try to clinch the fifth and final World Cup berth despite insurmountable odds when they face South Korea in a playoff early tomorrow in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup at the Amman International Stadium in Amman, Jordan.
The Malditas will have to play their best form in the 1 a.m. Manila time match with the favored South Koreans to have a best chance at securing a win and give the country’s its first-ever appearance in the World Cup, to be hosted by France next year.
Coach Rabah Benlarbi refused to give up on his team’s chances despite three consecutive defeats that came after starting the Asian Cup campaign with a shock 2-1 victory over host Jordan.
Last Friday, the national side was beaten 3-1 by Thailand to settle for third in Group A and relegated to a playoff with the South Koreans, which also placed third in Group B.
South Korea is also expected to play with a determined mindset, eager to secure a second straight World Cup appearance.
The South Koreans made it to the last 16 of the World Cup in the 2015 edition held in Canada.