Over the start of October, the Philippine Women’s National Football Team, better known as the Filipinas, have been in San Jose, Costa Rica training for their two friendly matches against the country’s national team.
The Filipinas’ first match against Costa Rica is taking place tomorrow, October 8 at 9:00 AM (Manila time). After this, they are set to play a second time on Tuesday, October 11.
Ahead of both matches, Coach Alen Stajcic remains optimistic and enthusiastic about another chance to compete. “We are looking forward to the challenge of playing them on their home turf,” he expressed.
World Cup foes
Throughout the start of October, 25 of the Filipinas have set up camp in Costa Rica in preparation for their two friendly matches against the national team.
“We’ve only just begun the camp in Costa Rica but it’s a beautiful place with such a rich football history and culture,” Coach Alen Stajcic shared. “Their National Training Centre is amazing and it’s clear to see both their love of the game and why they have been so successful lately in both men’s and women’s international football.”
Indeed, Costa Rica’s football teams have been successful internationally.
Their women’s team qualified for the Women’s World Cup in 2023 after winning their group-stage matches at the CONCACAF Women’s tournament earlier this year. This marks their second World Cup qualification after 2015, when the team was eliminated in the group stage.
Additionally, their men’s team is also headed to the FIFA Men’s World Cup later this year.
For the Filipinas, going against yet another team with experience in the World Cup will certainly be a huge learning opportunity.
Aiming for the next step
Last month, the Filipinas also played another World Cup-experienced team, New Zealand. Although the Philippine side led at halftime and was able to keep up with the 22nd team in the world, they lost the game, conceding two goals in the second half.
Despite the loss, the Filipinas have actually gained confidence that they will be taking into their next set of matches.
“The motivations of the team are at an all-time high and confidence too is in a good place,” Coach Alen Stajcic emphasizes. “We now know we can compete with the likes of New Zealand and Ireland. The next step is to start beating these higher-ranked teams.”
This game will be the first time the Filipinas will be playing against a Central American team. Thus, in order to challenge Costa Rica, they have been preparing on their opponents’ home soil for the past week.
As Coach Alen Stajcic mentioned, Costa Rica has a rich football history and culture. And with their international experience, he shares, “It will be a great opportunity for us to play a Team with World Cup experience and one that is filled with players with high-level passing and dribbling qualities.”
Taking every opportunity
With their training and recent experience, the Filipinas are confident and motivated ahead of the Costa Rica matches. However, it will still certainly be a test of the team, especially in their buildup for the World Cup.
In addition, the team is also faced with other challenges they will have to overcome. “With a few injuries and bouts of illness in the Team this week, it will be a great test of our depth and flexibility in the team.”
But despite the challenges, Coach Stajcic sends a message of optimism among the team. “The motivations of the team are at an all-time high and confidence too is in a good place,” he expresses. “We are looking forward to the challenge of playing them on their home turf.”
The Filipinas’ first match of two against Costa Rica takes place tomorrow at 9:00 AM. You can watch the match live on the team’s Facebook page.
Stay tuned to The GAME for more updates.