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Filipinas coach admits getting outplayed by Thais in SEA Games semis

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Filipinas coach admits getting outplayed by Thais in SEA Games semis
The Filipinas lost to Thailand in the SEA Games semifinal, 0-3, at Cam Pha stadium on Wednesday
PWNT / Raymond Braganza

HANOI — Philippine women's national football team head coach Alen Stajcic offered no excuses for his squad after they were relegated to the bronze medal match of the 31st Southeast Asian Games following a 0-3 semis loss to Thailand at the Cam Pha Stadium on Wednesday.

Despite being able to rest and prepare for more days compared to their group stage matches, Stajcic said they were unable to execute against Thailand.

"Thailand were the better team and they deserved to win," Stajcic said after the game.

"I think we played better the other day. Our passing was pretty poor tonight and our marking in the box wasn't very good. It was better against Vietnam and today against a good opponent, it wasn't good enough and we were punished," he added.

The Filipinas were perfectly in the game until the end of the first half, despite giving up an early goal that had them down 0-1.

Several chances were created to equalize before the halftime whistle in the final 10 minutes of the period.

The ball almost found the back of the net more than once in that 10-minute period, and Stajcic lamented what could have been if they were able to convert.

"We had lots of chances in the first half especially but we didn’t take those chances and the scoreboard pressured added up in the second half, but in the first half we had five-six chances as well and in football you have to take those chances to create your own scoreboard pressure, but we didn’t do that and Thailand did," he said.

Still, Stajcic said this is part of the process for his wards, who will be making their FIFA Women's World Cup debut next year.

With the Filipinas just an up-and-coming team, the Aussie tactician said it will only serve as learnings.

"This is part of our journey. We’re only emerging at this level. Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar have been playing at this level for the last 10-12 years," said Stajcic.

"I remember Vietnam and Thailand were losing by big scores. That’s part of the learning, part of the journey and we’ve only just started on this journey on this level of football. We haven’t been in this level of football for quite a long time," he added.

But the Filipinas will need to gather and pick themselves up soon as they will face Myanmar for the bronze medal on Saturday.

It can be recalled that the Philippines also faced Myanmar for the bronze mint in the 2019 edition of the games where they lost, 1-2.

The Filipinas are looking for their first SEA Games podium finish in program history.

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