The Philippine Women’s National Football Team still played a great game even though it took a 1-2 setback at the hands of the New Zealand Football Ferns in a friendly on Wednesday morning, Manila time.
For national coach Alen Stajcic, the way his squad stood its ground against the Kiwis did not disappoint him.
“Certainly, there’s a lot to improve in this team and on its executions and passes. But overall, it was a good performance,” said Stajcic on Zoom after the game at the Titan Stadium in the Cal State Fullerton campus in California.
Sarina Bolden struck and drew first blood for the Filipinas in the 45+1-minute mark on an assist from Sara Eggesvik.
The Lady Kiwis, who are no. 22 in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, then picked up the pace in the second half.
New Zealand levelled the count in the 71st minute off penalty, with defender Meikayla Moore sending her spot-kick past Filipinas’ goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel.
Defender Ali Riley’s strike in the 83rd minute then won the game for the Ferns.
The Philippines tried to equalize again, but Jessika Cowart’s late effort missed its mark.
“It was a good performance against a strong team, an experienced team. And in some respects, we are lucky to get a point out of it,” added Stajcic.
The Filipinas are at the end of a 13-day training camp in Irvine, California.