On their road to the 2023 World Cup, the Filipinas will be facing higher-ranked European teams Wales, Scotland, and Iceland in the Pinatar Cup next year.
After a month of nonstop football action at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the next big tournament is next year’s Women’s World Cup, where the Philippine Women’s National Team will be competing.
The 2023 World Cup marks the Philippines’ first time competing in the top football event in the world. As such, the team has been gearing up the preparations with international friendly matches. Most recently, they dominated a pair of friendlies against Papua New Guinea, winning by 5-1 and 9-0.
Now, to further tighten up their preparations, the Filipinas will be competing in the Pinatar Cup in 2023.
The Pinatar Cup is an invitational women’s friendly football tournament that started in 2020. Given that the event was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic, next year’s edition marks the third edition.
The competition takes place from February 15 to 21 in San Pedro del Pinatar in Murcia, Spain. There, the Filipinas will be facing higher-ranked European teams from Wales, Scotland, and Iceland.
While the Philippines sits at 53rd in the World, Iceland is at 16th, Scotland in 25th, and Wales in 32nd. However, although the Filipinas’ opponents are all of higher ranks on the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, they are the only team among the four who have already qualified for next year’s World Cup.
Scotland competed in the 2019 edition of the Women’s World Cup. Meanwhile, Iceland and Wales are still yet to make the cut.
“Competing in the Pinatar Cup is a great opportunity for the Filipinas to familiarize themselves with European teams ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr shared in a press statement.
“It’s definitely a big help to the team’s preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.”
This is the Filipinas’ first time competing in Europe, and against three highly experienced teams at that. With this, they will definitely be able to make use of the tournament to prepare for the World Cup, where they are facing co-hosts New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.
“We are leveling up our preparations for the FWWC and the team will benefit playing against stronger more experienced teams,” Filipinas Team Manager Jefferson Cheng said.
The Filipinas will be competing against Wales on February 15, Scotland on the 18th, and Iceland on the 21st.
Banner image from Philippine WNT on Twitter.