These underdogs aren’t backing down heading into the World Cup.
The Philippine Women’s National Football Team captured the imagination of Filipino sports fans when they qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup via dramatic semifinals berth at the 2022 AFC Asian Women’s Cup.
Looking to build on their inspiring run last January, the PWNFT has been going hard in preparation for their first ever stint at the global tourney. In December of 2022, they had a couple friendlies with Papua New Guinea, which resulted in two convincing wins for the Philippines. And to rev up their training, the Filipina footballers will participate in an invitational where they’ll face higher ranking teams from Europe.
Considering his team’s loaded schedule, PWNFT head coach Alen Stajcic has a firm grasp of what they’re facing in the coming months.
The Pinatar Cup will feature world no. 32 Wales, 25th ranked Scotland, and Iceland who’s at 16th. The Philippines currently sits at 53, but is the only team among the four who has already qualified for the Worlds.
Stajcic knows that the Filipinas will be the underdogs from this moment till they get to New Zealand for the World Cup in July. The important thing is, the Australian coach seems to have already mapped out the road they must take to be full ready.
The Pinatar Cup will take place from February 15 to 21 in Spain. After that, the Filipinas will join the Olympic Qualifiers, where they’ll face Hong Kong, Tajikistan and Pakistan in the first round. A month later, the Filipinas will be on the field once again for the SEA Games.