SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA – The Philippine Women’s National Team turns its FIFA World Cup preparations up a notch as it faces Central American side Costa Rica for the first time at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto here.
The match kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday (Saturday 9 a.m. in the Philippines). Livestream will be available on the PWNT Facebook page.
It will mark the first time the Filipinas are playing against a Central American side that also qualified for next year’s World Cup.
La Sele who qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2005, are ranked No. 37 by FIFA.
“Costa Rica has a traditional Latin playing style with lots of flair and players with excellent technique,” said Filipinas coach Alen Stajcic.
“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. We are looking forward to the challenge of playing them on their home turf.”
The Filipinas will also face Costa Rica on Tuesday in a closed door match at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa. Kickoff is set at 11 a.m. (1 a.m. Wednesday in the Philippines).
Stajcic said the two matches will test the team’s depth. He believes that the two matches against higher ranked teams earlier this year have built the team’s confidence in stepping up to the level of other established football countries.
“The motivations of the team are at an all time high and confidence too is in a good place,” said Stajcic. “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. With a few injuries and bouts of illness in the team this week, it will be a great test of our depth and flexibility.”
The Filipinas are also supported by team manager Jefferson Cheng, the Philippine Sports Commission and the MVP Sports Foundation.