Despite loss, Filipinas forge encouraging start
Coach Alen Stajcic lauded the effort shown by the Philippine women’s football team despite absorbing defeat amid unfavorable circumstances to kick off the Pinatar Cup on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) in Spain.
“We don’t like losing and we’ve spoken about that before but I’m really pleased with what we did tonight,” Stajcic said after the Filipinas’ 1-0 loss to Wales in the Spanish town of San Pedro del Pinatar.
A penalty conceded before halftime led to the disappointing result, yet Stajcic preferred to look at how the ladies performed.
Although Kayleigh Green scored from the spot for the match’s lone goal, goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel was steady between the sticks while Stajcic praised Dom Randle for her defending despite giving up a tackle that led to the penalty.
“Considering that we’re in preseason and the opposition right in the middle of their season, the jetlag, we’ve had delayed flights, we’ve had players ill and we’ve had players coming in really late to camp, that was an amazing effort—probably one of our best in terms of effort,” said Stajcic.
“We went up against players in [England’s Women’s Super League] and some of the big clubs as well, so it was a really good effort and the team showed a lot of discipline defensively,” he added as the Filipinas now put their focus on Scotland on Saturday.
Striker Sarina Bolden is expected to play in the team’s second match in the tournament that serves as part of the Philippine buildup for the Fifa Women’s World Cup. Bolden and midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki arrived only recently, which prompted Stajcic to sit out both players.
The Filipinas wrap things up on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) against Iceland.
“A lot of things to look forward in the next week and hopefully we can freshen the squad up … and see how we go against Scotland, who are as good as a team or even better than Wales,” Stajcic said.