MANILA, Philippines–The Philippines was drawn alongside defending gold medal winner Vietnam in Group A of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games women’s football competition in Cambodia.
Both countries will be joined by Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia in the group stage which will serve as their first step in their quest to reign supremacy in the regional meet.
It will also be the same group for the men’s U-22 side as it aims for a spot in the semifinals along with Indonesia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and host Cambodia.
The Filipinas are aiming to improve on their bronze medal finish last year in Vietnam which gave the country a spot on the podium for the first time since the 1985 edition which was a three-team event.
Coach Alen Stajcic will likely come in with confidence facing Vietnam after putting up a stunning 4-0 semifinal win in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Vietnam has dominated the SEA Games in seven of the last nine editions, including the last three.
The SEA Games also serve as among the final preparations of the Filipinas for the Fifa Women’s World Cup in July.
Meanwhile, the competition will be the maiden tournament of new men’s U-22 mentor Rob Gier, the former Azkals defender who has turned to coaching following his retirement.
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