A packed stadium filled with Filipino fans is in the wish list of national coach Allen Stajcic as the Philippine national women’s football returns to Manila this week.
The Filipinas are set to play their first tournament on local soil when football action returns to Rizal Memorial Stadium starting on Sunday.
The Rizal Stadium will be back in use again after two years as it will serve as the venue when the Philippines plays host to the ASEAN Football Federation Women’s Championship 2022 from July 4 to 17.
“I hope to have a full stadium supporting the team, and watch them play in what is really a tough group. There is no doubt that we are in the tougher set of the tournament,” said Stajcic.
The Filipinas are coming back to Manila following a series of friendlies in Europe.
Last Sunday, Katrina Guillou scored the winning goal as the Philippines ended its series of international friendlies with a 2-1 triumph over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brezice, Slovenia.
Sarina Bolden made two goals for the Filipinas on Thursday last week when they stopped the same team, 3-0, at the Matija Gubec Stadium in Krsko, Slovenia.
The Philippines, which is one of two ASEAN nations to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, is bunched with four-time winners Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, and Malaysia in Group A.
“We are looking forward to the challenge, and playing before a home crowd,” added Stajcic.
Games of the tournament will also be at the Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna and the City of Imus Stadium in Cavite, with the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona being one of the training venues.