Last Saturday morning (Manila time), the Philippine Women’s National Football Team competed against Costa Rica in an international friendly match.
Ahead of the kickoff, Coach Alen Stajcic expressed that they “are looking forward to the challenge of playing them on their home turf.”
And on their home turf, the Filipinas came in the final minutes to end the match in a draw, 1-1. Now, both FIFA Women’s World Cup-headed teams will be looking to go for the win in their rematch.
The two teams will face off again tomorrow at 1:00 AM (Manila time).
Coming in the clutch
The Filipinas spent the start of October in a training camp in San Jose, Costa Rica. There, they have been prepping for their matches against the national team. And with their performance in their first meeting with the Central American side, they showed that their preparations have paid off.
Ranked 37th in the world, Costa Rica scored first in the 57th minute of the game. A shot to the top right corner by Priscilla Chinchilla put La Sele on top. And until extra time, it looked like they would finish ahead.
However, in the third minute of extra time, a long ball from Olivia McDaniel found Katrina Gillou, who put it in the back of the net to end the game, 1-1.
After the match, the Filipinas’ goalscorer shared that the team came into the second half stronger. “We were all there for that one last push, and we were able to put it away,” she said.
“We showed a lot of heart and determination in the last game and I think it showed especially in the last few minutes that the momentum shifted to us. If we had a couple of minutes, maybe we could have gotten something out of the game,” Hali Long shared in a press release.
Now, coming into their second meeting, both teams will be looking to finish this round of friendlies on top.
One more shot
Ahead of their first match against the Central American team, Coach Alen Stajcic shared that the team’s next step is “to start beating these higher-ranked teams.”
In line with this, we may expect to see a more aggressive and adjusted Filipinas in their second meeting.
In the Philippine Football Federation’s press release, assistant coach Nahuel Arrate shared his thoughts on competing in Costa Rica. “Latin or Central American teams are very different and it’s the first time we’ve come across that. The tempo of the game might change but coming across technically gifted players is a great experience.”
Ultimately, as the Filipinas continue on their path in preparing for the much-awaited FIFA Women’s World Cup next year, each match is an opportunity to learn. And, competing closely with the 37th-ranked team in the world, the Philippine side is sure to gain confidence and skill.
The Filipinas and Costa Rica will be competing tomorrow at 1:00 AM (Manila time).