Torcaso has seen what the Filipinas can do.
That 3-1 win over Hong Kong in the Asian Games on Friday wasn’t the cleanest of victories for the Philippine women’s national football team.
But it’s safe to say that newly appointed coach Mark Torcaso was happy with the team’s performance, especially after having just three full training days with the squad.
“It's gonna take us a bit of time until they get to understand how we want to play and what we want to do, but for them to execute that in the first game with us as staff, it was excellent and we're happy,” Torcaso told One Sports.
Torcaso, who is still adjusting to the Filipinas, also shared some of his new found learnings from the squad after their nail-biting victory, giving him his first win with the squad.
“I probably saw that huge amount of character that we saw at the [FIFA Women's] World Cup,” said Torcaso. “I learned that they can stick it out right to the end of the game regardless of the situation.”
Some key substitutions late in the game helped the Filipinas find their form in their attacks—something that Torcaso was very pleased with.
“The way they take on information is spot on,” said Torcaso. “I don't think I've worked with a group of players that can take on information and then implement it straight away.”
Indeed, Torcaso and the Filipinas will continue to get to know each other over the next games and training sessions, even as they try to go for a medal in this continental showpiece. But one thing is clear—they are building the team up not just for the Asian Games, but for the future.
“This is a build-up towards the next few years. This is not just for this tournament,” said Torcaso.
“We need to get to know them, they need to get to know us and we're gonna use this game as a chance to prepare ourselves for the Olympic Qualifiers and then whatever is beyond that,” he added.
It seems like a good plan.
(With reports from One Sports' Paolo Del Rosario)