Philippines now fully focused on Norway challenge after historic Women’s World Cup win

Philippines' coach Alen Stajcic Women's World Cup

Philippines’ coach Alen Stajcic reacts on the touchline during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup Group A football match between the Philippines and Switzerland at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin on July 21, 2023. (Photo by Sanka Vidanagama / AFP)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Coach Alen Stajcic said the Philippine women’s football team has already put aside its landmark victory over co-host New Zealand as it aims for another upset, this time against Norway in the Fifa Women’s World Cup on Sunday here.

Stajcic said the experience of having been into numerous tournaments and friendlies has allowed the Filipinas to get used to approaching how to deal with a quick turnaround in the midst of a 1-0 win in Wellington.

“The lucky thing we’ve had in the last 18 months where we’ve been to four, five tournaments or qualifiers is that we’ve learned the routine of how to refocus, whether it’s a good result or a bad result,” Stajcic told Manila-based reporters after the team held its second training at Olympic Park.

One of the strengths of this team is we’ve been able to refocus quickly and that there’s a sense of maturity around the team,” added Stajcic.

It’s interesting to see what form the Filipinas will show right off the bat at Eden Park where they’ll attempt to produce a favorable over the fancied-but-embattled European side with a spot in the round-of-16 at stake.

The Filipinas returned here Wednesday before holding a training the following day which was closed for the media.

“The team is in good spirits, they’re training well and are focused in and ready for the challenge ahead,” Stajcic.

A busier day awaits the Philippines on the eve of the crunch meeting, with Stajcic and a player attending a pre-match press conference before they train at Waiketere Stadium.


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