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Filipinas looking forward to Costa Rica 'challenge' in World Cup build-up

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Filipinas looking forward to Costa Rica 'challenge' in World Cup build-up
The Philippine women's national football team during their international friendly against New Zealand last September
Jay Layno

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women's national football team are amping up their preparation for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup with a pair of international friendlies against fellow World Cup team Costa Rica.

Currently in the middle of their camp, the Filipinas face the 37th ranked team on October 7 (October 8, Manila time) and on October 11.

With their opponents ranked considerably higher than the World No. 53 Filipinas, head coach Alen Stajcic relishes the opportunity to learn from the Costa Ricans.

"Costa Rica has a traditional Latin playing style with lots of flair and players with excellent technique. 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," said Stajcic.

"We are looking forward to the challenge of playing them on their home turf," he added.

The Filipinas have been hard at work in Costa Rica for the past couple of days. In their last friendly, they held their ground against New Zealand before conceding a goal late.

After showing their mettle that they can compete against teams who have had World Cup experience, Stajcic hopes for a victory this time.

The Aussie mentor looks for the win as injuries and player health test the depth of his roster.

"The motivations of the team are at an all-time high and confidence too is in a good place. 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," said Stajcic.

"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," he continued.

Stajcic's roster in Costa Rica include the likes of goalkeepers Olivia McDaniel, and Inna Palacios, Filipinas veterans Hali Long, Eva Madarang, Tahnai Annis, Camille Rodriguez, Sarina Bolden, Quinley Quezada, among others.

Also on deck are Malea Cesar, Sofia Harrison, Jessika Cowart, Chantelle Maniti, Dominique Randle, Tara Shelton, Anicka Castaneda, Sara Eggesvik, Jessica Miclat, Carleigh Frilles and Jaclyn Sawicki.

Kiara Fontanilla, Kaiya Jota, Reina Bonta, Shai del Campo, Bella Flanigan and Katrina Guillou complete the Filipinas in Costa Rica.

FOOTBALL

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