MANILA (UPDATE) – The Philippine Malditas ran down a higher-ranked Iranian squad in the AFC Women's Asian Cup qualification opener in Bangladesh.
The 83rd-ranked Pinays dominated the 52nd-ranked Iran, 6-0, at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Jesse Shugg led the way for the Malditas by scoring two goals, while Heather Cooke, Megan Jurado and Joana Houplin added one goal each.
Iran fell behind further when it yielded an own goal.
The Philippines is clustered with Thailand, Bangladesh and Iran in Group B.
The Malditas, beefed up by US NCAA Division 1 players, are seeking to reach the Top 5 finishers in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
Also playing for the Malditas are Marielle Benitez, Sam Nierras, Marisa Park, Catherine Barnekow, Sarah Cook, Natasha Alquiros, Isabella Fernando, Christina delos Reyes, Patrice Impelido, Aisa Mondero, Inna Palacios, JoEllen Deleon, Monika Lee, Katherine Lim, Rachel Nichols, Shelby Salvacion, Maria de la Cruz, Camille Wilson, Raylene Larot, Morgan Brown, Chalise Baysa, and Maria Shipe.
“This is probably the fittest and fastest team we’ve ever had. We have a good chance of making it,” said team skipper Benitez in a Philippine Star report.