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Filipinas call 21 players to begin road to Paris '24

The Filipinas celebrating a goal against Thailand last AFC Women's Asia Cup. Philippine Women's National Football Team
By Drew Malihan

MANILA--The Philippine women's national football team enlisted 21 names to represent the country in the first round of the 2024 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Australian coach Alan Stajcic recalled 20 of the 25-member team that played three games in the last Pinatar Cup in Spain, alongside one returnee who last made the squad on February 2022.

Chandler McDaniel, who last saw action in the 2022 AFC Women's Asia Cup semifinals against South Korea due to injury, will make his return in a Filipinas jersey, bolstering the attack line which features Western Sydney Wanderers' Sarina Bolden, Red Star Belgrade's Quinley Quezada, and Katrina Guillou who plays for PiteĆ„.

Filipinas skipper Tahnai Annis will once again lead the team's midfield along with Jacklyn Sawicki, Carleigh Frilles, and Anicka CastaƱeda who took their talents to Australia, and Norway-based Sara Eggesvik and Meryll Serrano.

Kaya FC's Hali Long will be joined by her fellow defenders Maya Alcantara, Alicia Barker, Reina Bonta, Jessika Cowart, Malea Cesar, Sofia Harrison, and Eva Madarang, while Olivia McDaniel will be with veteran Inna Palacios and Central Coast Mariners' Kiara Fontanilla in between the sticks.

The Filipinas are slated in Group E, where they will face 160th ranked Pakistan on April 5, 144th ranked Tajikistan on April 8, and world number 77 Hong Kong on April 11, with all games to be played inside Hisor Central Stadium in Hisor, Tajikistan.

Whoever wins the group will join top ranked AFC women's national teams in Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, and North Korea, along with six other group winners, in the second round which will start later in October.

Follow him on Twitter: @drew_corner

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