Philippines drawn with Jordan, China and Thailand for AFC Women's Asian Cup 2018

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 11, 2017 10:58 AM
Philippines drawn into Group A for AFC Women's Asian Cup
Official 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup logo

JORDAN - The Philippines have learned which opponents they will meet first at the 19th edition of the AFC Women's Asian Cup in Jordan 2018 following the conclusion of the official tournament draw which was held at the King Hussein bin Talal Convention Center.

The Philippines (currently ranked no. 70 worldwide) have been drawn into Group A and will be slated to play hosts Jordan (50), China (13) and Thailand (29) at the preliminary round of the tournament which starts on April 6, 2018. In Group B are Japan (8), Australia (6), Korea Republic (15) and Vietnam (31). Teams will be playing each other once and the top two teams of each group will advance to the knockout round. 

With the Women's Asian Cup also acting as qualifiers for the FIFA Women's World Cup, the four semifinalists are guaranteed berths in France 2019 along with the fifth best team of the tournament. 

The eight-team field includes four previous winners namely defending champions Japan, Australia–currently Asia’s highest ranked team at sixth in the world, eight-time champions China, and 1983 winners Thailand.

Much attention is focused on the Philippines who are participants in the world's oldest senior women's continental competition for the first time since 2003, but are the first Filipino senior national team—male or female—to successfully compete in an Asian Cup Finals after a qualification process and since the flagship women's tournament has doubled as qualifiers for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

The Philippines qualified for the tournament after totaling 10 pts in the qualifying stage behind Jordan's 15, winning matches against the United Arab Emirates (4-0), Iraq (4-0), Tajikistan (8-0), drawing Bahrain (1-1) and losing only to group leaders Jordan (1-5). Sara Castañeda scored the decisive equalizer against Bahrain that cemented the Philippines' place among Asia's Elite Eight. 

The official AFC Women's Asian Cup Jordan 2018 logo has also been unveiled (see attached) which features the female footballer as a superheroine – capturing the strength, agility, intelligence and bravery in the women’s game.

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