February 28, 2024

Alen Stajcic praises Filipinas despite opening Pinatar Cup with a loss

Alen Stajcic praises Filipinas despite opening Pinatar Cup with a loss

Philippine Women's National Football Team coach Alen Stajcic had little to complain about after his team suffered a 0-1 loss against Wales in their first match of the 2023 Pinatar Cup, held in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain.

“We don’t like losing and we’ve spoken about that before but I’m really pleased with what we did tonight,” Stajcic on Wednesday night, or Thursday in Philippine time.

Wales scored the only goal of the match from a penalty kick just before halftime, but Stajcic praised the Filipinas for the effort they displayed against the world 32nd-ranked Welsh team, especially on the defensive end.

“That was an amazing effort—probably one of our best in terms of effort,” said Stajic. “We went up against players in the super league and some of the big clubs as well so it was a really good effort and the team showed a lot of discipline defensively.”

Not one to make excuses, Stajcic admitted the team had gone through issues prior to their Pinatar Cup opener. There's the absence of key players Jaclyn Sawicki and Sarina Bolden. Both had just arrived from Australia, making them unavailable for the game.

Additionally, the team had limited time to train together in Spain due to their individual commitments with their respective clubs. Nevertheless, the Filipinas managed to hold their own against the Welsh.

Despite this, Stajcic underscored the room for improvement for the Philippine footballers in that game.

“There are usual issues of not being able to keep the ball better which is something we have to work on,” the coach said.

Expect the Stajcic and his team to improve on this in their match against Scotland on Saturday, February 18.

“A lot of things to look forward in the next week and hopefully we can freshen the squad up for Game 2 and see how we go against Scotland who are as good as a team or even better [than Wales].”