Women’s World Cup: Norway coach praises her former player Meryll Serrano ahead of Philippines match

Hege Riise Norway Women's World Cup

Norway’s head coach Hege Riise attends a press conference at Eden Park in Auckland on July 29, 2023, on the eve of their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup football match against Philippines. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Norway coach Hege Riise on Saturday recalled having a current member of the Filipinas as one of her former players.

Riise was talking about midfielder Meryll Serrano, who played for her during the latter’s spell at LSK Kvinner of Norway’s top-tier league Toppserien in 2019.

“She played for me while I was coaching in Lillestrom,” Riise said during the pre-match press conference on Saturday at Eden Park here.

“She’s like a good technical player, [has a] big sense of humor [and] always fun to focus on tactics and football,” Riise added.

Meryll Serrano was one of the goal scorers for the Filipinas against Hong Kong.

FILE – Meryll Serrano was one of the goal scorers for the Filipinas against Hong Kong.—PFF PHOTO

Serrano along with starting midfielder Sara Eggesvik have been some of the focus ahead of the crunch Group A match due to their Norwegian links.

Filipinas coach Alen Stajcic said both are “two Filipino players who spent their time in Norway” when asked by a Norwegian reporter about having Serrano and Eggesvik on the squad.

Serrano was born 26 years ago in Mangaldan, Pangasinan before she and her family moved to Norway.

She made her Filipinas debut last December in a friendly against Papua New Guinea and has produced four goals for the country.

Serrano appeared as a substitute in the Filipinas’ 2-0 loss to Switzerland that opened their World Cup campaign in Dunedin.


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