Coach Alen Stajcic often points out what the Philippine women’s soccer team needs to improve on, regardless of the outcome of each match.
But on Wednesday (Manila time) he sang in a different tone, clearly emboldened by what he saw from the Filipinos despite falling behind Chile in the South American country’s second and final friendly match.
“We showed a lot of heart and soul,” said Stajcic after the 1-0 defeat in Chile’s capital, Santiago. “It really was one of our best efforts in the last 12 months.”
The national boots lost after conceding Karen Araya’s halftime goal in the 24th minute, but despite being the missing player after Sara Eggesvik’s two yellow card defeats, they were determined to at least save the draw after the break.
A chance from Chile’s error at the back almost resulted in a goal, but substitute Bella Flanigan was in a tight spot to shoot a clear shot.
“To be able to almost get ahead and create a lot of chances when a player is missing, to be positive and determined and to show all the qualities we need to have in the group,” said Stajcic.
“It was a really enlightening and uplifting second half and we needed that because we needed to make up for the lack of intensity required for international football. All in all it was a great experience, we learn, we grow and we move on to our next adventure,” he added.
Intern and the Filipinos arrived in Chile as part of the ongoing structure for next year’s World Cup. Their first match against the 38th-ranked country ended on a positive note with a 1-1 draw that nearly won after Hali Long’s opening goal.
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