Friendlies crucial to Filipinas set in Costa Rica | Inquirer Sports

Friendlies crucial to Filipinas set in Costa Rica

/ 04:15 AM September 21, 2022
Philippine women's football team.

The Filipinas are hoping to improve on their ranking before the World Cup draw. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Philippine women’s football team will have its final chance at getting a favorable draw for the 2023 Fifa (International Federation of Association Football) Women’s World Cup after confirming two friendly matches next month against Costa Rica.

The Filipinas will be in the Central American nation to play the Las Ticas, ranked 37th in the recent women’s world rankings and have also qualified to next year’s Fifa showpiece tournament, for friendlies on Oct. 7 and 11.

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Matches against Costa Rica were discussed shortly after the Philippines’ conquest of the Asean Football Federation Women’s Championship in July, but it was only on Tuesday that the fixtures were confirmed.

‘Learn and build’“What’s important for us is to learn and build on these experiences which will be a huge factor in our World Cup campaign next year,” said Filipinas coach Alen Stajcic.Stajcic has been hammering on the need for the Filipinas to face teams above their Fifa ranking of No. 53 in order to gauge themselves before the World Cup.

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They recently faced No. 22 New Zealand in a friendly held in California and lost, 2-1, despite leading at the break on Sarina Bolden’s opening goal.

Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta earlier explained that the Filipinas will need to climb eight spots higher in order to be put in a higher pot number that will enable them to avoid the dreaded possibilities of facing superior sides.

The rankings are going to be updated on Oct. 13, two days after the second friendly. The World Cup draw is set on Oct. 23. INQ

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