Cover MUMBAI, INDIA - JANUARY 24: Philippines players line up for the national anthem prior to the AFC Women's Asian Cup Group B match between Philippines and Australia at Mumbai Football Arena on January 24, 2022 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)

The Philippine team bested Taiwan by one point to secure the country's first shot at the FIFA Women's World Cup last January 30, 2022

Nicknamed as "the Malditas", the Philippine Women's Football Team has made sports history by securing a spot at the FIFA Women's World Cup. The World Cup is among the biggest platforms for professional footballers and is scheduled for July 2023, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The Malditas, with team captain Tahnai Annis at the helm, recently bested the Taiwan team 4-3 at the AFC Women's Asia Cup held in the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, India. This was done after the match headed into penalties after both the Philippines and Taiwan remained at 1-1 after 120 minutes. Much credit also goes to the team's goalkeeper, Olivia McDaniel, who made two saves and scored one against Taipei. 

Read more: Cover Story: Hidilyn Diaz on Her Tough Road to Claim the Philippines' First Olympic Gold


A video posted on the AFC Women's Asia Cup Twitter account showed the emotional celebration of the Philippine team. Pride and happiness were almost tangible on everyone's voices as the team celebrated not just a win, but a place at FIFA as well—a first for any Philippine team. Thanks to their win, the Malditas have also secured their places as semi-finalists and will be battling it out with South Korea this coming February 3, 2022 at 4:00pm. Other semi-finalists include Japan, China, and Korea. Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam, who are the three losing semifinalists sides will also feature in playoffs rounds this coming February. 


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