Sterling effort by Filipinas has Stajcic smiling despite loss
Coach Alen Stajcic usually points out the things the Philippine women’s football team needs to improve on regardless of the result of each match.
But he sang a different tone on Wednesday (Manila time), obviously encouraged with what he saw from the Filipinas despite falling short to Chile in their second and final friendly match in the South American country.
“We showed so much heart and spirit,” Stajcic said following the 1-0 loss in the Chilean capital of Santiago. “It was really one of the best efforts from us in the last 12 months.”
The national booters lost after conceding a first half goal courtesy of Karen Araya in the 24th minute, but showed resolve in at least salvaging a draw after the break despite being a player short following the loss of Sara Eggesvik on two yellow cards.
One chance—coming from Chile’s mistake at the back—almost led to a goal, but substitute Bella Flanigan was in a tight spot to fire a clear shot at the net.
“To be able to almost get on the front foot with one player less and create lots of chances and be positive and determined and show all the attributes that we need to have within the group,” said Stajcic.
“It was a really eye-opening and pleasing second half and we needed it because we needed to compensate for that lack of intensity that is required for international football. All in all, it’s been a great experience, we learn, we grow and we move on to our next adventure,” he added.
Stajcic and the Filipinas came to Chile as part of its ongoing buildup for next year’s World Cup. Their first match against the 38th-ranked nation ended on a positive note with a 1-1 draw that nearly ended to a win after Hali Long’s opening goal.