The Philippine national women’s football team is living up to expectations.
National coach Allen Stajcic said he is seeing encouraging results following the friendly games and training camps that the Filipinas had during trips to Europe and Australia over the last two months.
“We’re progressing, we’re evolving. Our results in Europe were encouraging,” said Stajcic on Zoom a few days before they play on home soil in the ASEAN Football Federation Women’s Championship 2022 from July 4 to 17.
Improvements are expected to be seen when the Filipinas meet the Australian Matildas on Monday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The much-awaited 7 p.m. showdown comes right after Singapore takes on Malaysia at 4 p.m.
“We know how much more we have to improve. There’s a lot of improvement in our game,” added Stajcic.
The Filipinas are coming back to Manila following a series of friendlies in Europe and this includes their 0-1 loss to the Republic of Ireland, last week at the Bellis Field in Antalya, Turkey.
After that, Sarina Bolden made two goals for the Filipinas on Thursday last week when they turned back Bosnia and Herzegovina, 3-0, at the Matija Gubec Stadium in Krsko, Slovenia.
Over the weekend, Katrina Guillou scored the winning goal as the Philippines ended its series of international friendlies with a 2-1 triumph in their second encounter with Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brezice, Slovenia.
Playing on home soil means much to members of the Filipinas, one of two ASEAN nations that qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
“How exciting it is to be play in the Philippines. We’ll have family, extended family, and it will just mean much more to play in front of friends, family and supporters,” said skipper Tahnai Annis.
The Filipinas are bunched with four-time winner Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, and Malaysia in Group A.
Games of the tournament will also be at the Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna and the City of Imus Stadium in Cavite
On the other hand, the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona is one of the training venues.
Meanwhile, the Matildas are seeing action against the Philippines after their friendly matches in Spain.
In their last game, the Matildas played with new faces and were stunned by host Spain, 0-7, in the absence of several stars at the Estadio Nuevo Colombino, a multi-purpose stadium in Huelva, Spain.
Australian superstar captain Sam Kerr, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Caitlin Foord, Kyah Simon, Mary Fowler and Ellie Carpenter (injured) were out when the Matildas suffered the loss against the Spanish side, which is preparing for next month’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2022.