By JONAS TERRADO
10 p.m. ‒ Philippines vs Indonesia
The national women’s football team seeks a spot in the quarterfinals when it takes on Indonesia Thursday to wrap up Group B action in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, India.
With control of their own destiny going into the 10 p.m. Manila time match, the Filipinas look to secure second spot in Group B while avoiding some complications in the event they are held to a draw or suffer defeat coupled with a Thailand win over Australia.
Thailand faces Australia, already assured of a quarters berth, in a game that will be played simultaneously at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Coach Alen Stajcic’s side is level with Thailand at three points apiece, but holds the tiebreaker by virtue of the Philippines’ stunning 1-0 win when the two sides met last Jan. 21.
The top two teams in Group B are assured of a spot in the quarters while the third placers must be among the two best teams with similar finishes from the three groups in the continental tournament.
A second place finish will assure the Philippines a quarterfinal meeting with the runner-up in Group A which was being contested last night by Taiwan and Iran.
Placing third may be enough for the Pinay booters, but that may put them in a pretty precarious position in the quarters with the possibility of facing Group A winner China or Group C sides Japan and South Korea.
The Philippines can become group runners-up through the following scenarios: Win plus a Thailand loss, draw and a Thailand defeat, both teams each getting a draw or having a better goal difference in the event of a three-way tie for first or second.
A loss or draw coupled with a Thailand victory will relegate the Philippines to third place.
Confidence remains high for the ladies even after absorbing a 4-0 loss to Australia last Monday in Mumbai.
It took more than 45 minutes for the Philippines to keep the game scoreless until a Sam Kerr goal off a set piece opened things up for the Aussies.
Indonesia is out to spoil the Philippines’ bid even if it goes into the match smarting from an 18-0 beating by Australia and a 4-0 setback to Thailand.