|Malditas newcomer Eva Madarang is living the moment the Filipinas qualified for the Women's Asian Cup for the first time since 2003. (Tajikistan Football Federation/file)|
By Kevin Estrada
For newcomer Eva Madarang, being part of the Philippine Women's National Team was an experience to cherish for. as she experience in a new environment and getting to know her roots 11672 kilometers away from Moorpark to Manila
However, she will get the big bonus for it, as she was part of the magnificent 19 that made Filipina football history last midnight in Dushanbe.
"Amazing I never thought I would be here playing the sport I love, for the amazing country of the Philippines, with the greatest group of girls," said the California native who was the Malditas' joint-leading goalscorers along with Sara Castañeda and Hali Long just hours after they secured their berth to the Women's Asian Cup next year, after a thrilling 1-1 draw with Bahrain.
With qualification all but secured, she said that they can go for a perfect ending to their Cinderella of their qualifier tomorrow against tournament hosts Jordan without any pressure at all.
"I think if we believe it ourselves and what we came here for we will do well," Madarang said.
Her shift from the midfield to the forward line paid dividends for Coach Buda Bautista, nabbing four goals in as many starts, as she thanked her teammates for helping her to adjust to the game and Madarang is looking forward to play alongside Asia's elite such as the Matildas of Australia, the Nadeshiko of Japan and China's Steel Roses.
"Many of my teammates really helped me during the tournament but when I go back home I'm going to start training and learning right away how to play striker to the best of my abilities. Also I'm pretty young to be playing where I'm at right now, same as most of my team, so there's plenty of room to grow and gain experience," Madarang concluded.
Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada