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Benlarbi lets Malditas savor the 'underdog' tag ahead of their return to the Women's Asian Cup

For the Frenchman, he hopes that the underdog status will gave them more positives for the Malditas. Pilipinas WNFT photo
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- For Rabah Benlarbi, the Malditas will be a clear underdog heading into the Women's Asian Cup in Jordan in April.

However, the Frenchman takes it as a badge of optimism rather than on the contrary, as he hopes that the women's national side are hoping to pull a shocker even though they are the lowest-ranked among the eight sides that will battle for five spots in next year's Women's World Cup in his home country.

"We had talented players. The only thing we have to focus is the tactical way," he said after Wednesday's sendoff to the ladies ahead of their return to the continental showpiece after a fifteen-year absence.

With just a month of build-up as he took over from Rich Boon, he spared no time to have his squad battle-ready ahead of their trip to the Middle East despite not playing an international match in the build up to their trip to Amman, owing to his previous international experience in Myanmar as well as his stint with Italian powerhouse Juventus under Marcello Lippi.

"It will help us, especially my preparation is very short," he added, knowing that their element of surprise will be their biggest asset in the tough but winnable group that composed of the host nation, China and Thailand.

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