Alen Stajcic confirms Philippines' pre-Women's World Cup friendly vs US | Inquirer Sports

Alen Stajcic confirms Philippines’ pre-Women’s World Cup friendly vs US

Filipinas Alen Stajcic Fifa Women's World Cup

Philippines coach Alen Stajcic during the pre-match press conference at the Fifa Women’s World Cup. Photo from PFF/PWNT

AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Coach Alen Stajcic acknowledged on Saturday that the Philippines took on the United States in an undisclosed friendly before the Fifa Women’s World Cup began.

Stajcic somehow confirmed that the exhibition took place in passing during Saturday’s pre-match press conference at Eden Park where he was asked about having Sara Eggesvik and Meryll Soriano, two players with Norwegian links.

“I don’t really care where they’re from. We had a friendly game against the USA just before the tournament and it’s irrelevant. We played against Australia [in the Asian Cup] and it was my own country but it doesn’t matter, it’s irrelevant,” Stajcic said of the question made by a Norwegian reporter.

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No one from the Filipinas camp until this point had publicly confirmed about the friendly, which was known in an ESPN story written following the Americans’ 3-0 victory over Vietnam.

Alen Stajcic Jessika Cowart Filipinas Fifa Women's World Cup

Philippines coach Alen Stajcic, left, and defender Jessika Cowart during the pre-match presser at the Fifa Women’s World Cup. Photo from PFF/PWNT

It was one of two friendlies held by the Filipinas in New Zealand prior to the World Cup campaign that has become a storybook.

The Filipinas are scheduled to face Norway on Sunday for a chance to qualify in the knockout stage, a feat only three debutants have done in the history of the competition.

Among the subplots is Eggesvik, whose father is Norwegian while her mother is from Davao. The hardworking midfielder said her focus will be on giving the Philippines a favorable result once kickoff commences against the Norwegians.

“We have two Filipino players who spent their time in Norway. Obviously, they spent a lot of their childhood in Norway, and Meryll was actually born in the Philippines,” said Stajcic.

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TAGS: Alen Stajcic, Fifa Women’s World Cup, Filipinas

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