The Filipino footballers are hoping home field advantage will work in their favor as the Filipinas begin their campaign against powerhouse Australia
MANILA, Philippines — After seeing action at 10 AFF Women’s Championships, the Philippines women’s soccer team will finally be able to play on home soil in the 12th edition of the tournament.
“I think it’s just going to mean a lot more to play in front of all our friends, family and supporters because we’ve played pretty much everywhere now and don’t really need that home field advantage, home crowd,” said Tahnai Annis, one of the veteran players of the teams.
The Philippines kick off their campaign in the 11 Nations tournament against powerhouse Australia on Monday, July 4 at 7pm at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
Traditional rivals Singapore and Malaysia also start in Manila at 16:00, while four-time champions Thailand take on Indonesia at 16:00 at Laguna’s Biñan Football Stadium to round out Group A action.
“I think all the support we’re going to have will really help us through this long tournament so I know everyone is very excited and really honored to be able to play in the Philippines,” said midfielder Annis, 33 .
“I know when we first found out which tournaments we were going to, this was one that was particularly close to my heart,” said 27-year-old defender Dominique Randle, who is also playing on home soil for the first time.
“Hopefully we channel that energy that we get from the fans and from our families and we can show our heart through the way we play.”
After the game against Australia, the Philippines play every other day, with games against Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Group B features 2019 champions Vietnam, 2019 third place finishers Myanmar, Laos, Timor-Leste and Cambodia.
Quinley Quezada, who played football in the Philippines at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, is hoping to draw inspiration from his hometown again.
“Just having that environment with all our fans there was really meaningful for all of us,” said the 25-year-old forward.
“So when we come back to that environment, it just gives us more motivation to pursue our goals and do what we want to do.” – Rappler.com