Filipinas looking forward to facing high-level Europe teams in Pinatar Cup
MANILA, Philippines–Hali Long is looking forward to another chance of gaining strides before the Fifa Women’s World Cup as the Philippine women’s football team competes in next week’s Pinatar Cup.
Long and the Filipinas left Thursday for Spain ahead of the Feb. 15 to 21 competition which will see them face crack European sides Wales, Scotland and Iceland.
“We’re obviously very excited not only to head to Spain, head to Europe again, but head to a football country and play other football countries with bigger names in Europe,” Long said after the Filipinas sealed a four-year kit sponsorship deal with Adidas.
The Pinatar Cup will be an extension of a trend the Filipinas have been doing since qualifying for the World Cup during the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup.
Coach Alen Stajcic’s squad faced crack teams like Bosnia and Herzegovina, New Zealand, Chile and Costa Rica aimed at getting themselves familiar with the high-level competition expected once the Philippines steps onto a World Cup pitch.
“To be exposed with those nations, and also in the Asian Cup [when we faced] Australia and [South Korea], those big names, to keep our circle going, keeping our journey and playing bigger names in Europe, we can only hope for the best,” the veteran defender said.
“We don’t want to peak early. I don’t have too high of expectations for the Pinatar Cup, but we’re always gonna try our best, and to always keep getting better because we already set the bar last year which was through the roof.
“So we know we have our own shoes to fill for this Pinatar Cup and the upper progression for 2023,” she concluded.