La Salle-laden Malditas begin journey to Asian Cup qualifying tonight

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The eighteen brave women have survived a two-month trials conducted by Coach Buda and co. (photo courtesy of PFF)
By Kevin Estrada

After the men opened their quest for Asian Cup qualifying with a bang last week, now it's ladies' turn, as the 19-strong contingent open their quest for Jordan and France tonight in Tajikistan

The new set of Malditas of Leticia Bautista, ranked 68th in the world, were picked after a two-month trial and training camp and were now ready for the challenge in Group A which doubles as a joint World Cup-Asian Cup qualifiers when they play 78th-placed UAE in Dushanbe's Pamir Stadium tonight at 10PM, Manila time.

Coach Buda opted for a younger side that is also laden with the fruits of Hans-Peter Smit's labor in Taft Ave. and Ayala Alabang, with eight of them came from the established La Salle football program, as Inna Palacios lead the squad in goal,

Along with Palacios are her La Salle teammates Mary Christine Duran, Irish Navaja and Nina Arrieta.
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Sara CastaƱeda's midfield presence is vital in the Malditas' quest for Amman and Paris starting tonight.
Sara CastaƱeda will now team up with his younger sister Anicka in the national side for the very first time, with the latter joining fellow Zobel/GAU standouts Alisha Del Campo and Joanna Almeda in the final 19.

W-League outfits OutKast and Hiraya also brought in their own veterans as well, with Alessa Dolino and Patrice Impelido joined Palacios and co. as the holdovers from last year's ASEAN championship that also had FEU's Jovelle Sudaria in the lineup as well.

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