Stajcic not satisfied with just moral victories | Inquirer Sports
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Stajcic not satisfied with just moral victories

/ 04:10 AM September 08, 2022

Coach Alen Stajcic was in no mood for moral victories shortly after the Philippine women’s football team came close to beating highly-ranked New Zealand on Wednesday (Manila time).

“We can compete,” Stajcic said after the Filipinas’ 2-1 loss to next year’s Fifa (International Federation of Association Football) Women’s World Cup co-hosts at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, California. “But we have to win and we didn’t win.”

Playing against a squad that is 22nd in the Fifa rankings, the Philippines took the lead moments before the halftime break when Sarina Bolden, who starred in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship last July in Manila, scored a volley off Sara Eggesvik’s long ball.

But the lead was never sustained in the second half as the Football Ferns scored twice behind a penalty from Meikayla Moore in the 66th minute and Ali Riley’s rebound which turned out to be the winner in the 82nd.

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Jessika Cowart’s header off a free kick could have secured a draw but her attempt hit the goal post during extra time.

“I’m happy that we competed and I’m happy that we showed we’re at this level,” Stajcic said. “But ultimately, we have to find a way to win and I’m not gonna be happy with losing, that’s for sure.”

The friendly was held after the team spent several days holding camp in nearby Irvine as part of the buildup for next year’s World Cup.

Twenty-seven players were called up for the camp, including four newcomers in Kaiya Rose Jota, Reina Bonta, Reinna Gabriel and Merryl Kristen Serrano.

Chandler McDaniel, part of the team’s World Cup qualification during the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asian Cup but missed the AFF tourney due to an injury, was also included in the camp. INQ

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