Filipinas drop friendly versus Finnish

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Filipinas drop friendly versus Finnish
Mark Torcaso

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines started its 2024 slate on the wrong foot as the Filipinas absorbed a 0-4 shutout from Finland in their international friendly in Murcia, Spain.

Oona Sevenius, a 19-year-old striker for Serie A club Como, on loan from AC Milan, proved unstoppable for the Philippine defense as she scored a hat trick to lead the No. 27 Finnish to the comprehensive victory.

Sevenius fired a low shot past Filipinas keeper Olivia McDaniel in the 24th minute to open the scoring at the San Pedro del Pinatar Arena. Eva Nyström doubled Finland’s lead with a header off Olga Ahtinen’s corner four minutes later before Sevenius blasted it to the back of the net again in the 43th and 72nd.

Coach Mark Torcaso used the game to test new combos and give debutants Katana Norman and Alexa Pino and returning Dionesa Tolentin a taste of action.

The friendly served as a warm-up for the 38-ranked Filipinas before they compete in the four-nation Pinatar Cup beginning today.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup veterans are set to play No. 25 Scotland in the opener while Finland and Slovenia mix it up in the other fixture.

Winners will advance to the one-game championship while the losers will face off for bronze on Tuesday.

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