SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Katrina Guillou struck in stoppage time as the Philippines secured a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica in a friendly last Friday night at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium here.
With defeat looming, the Filipinas turned to the Sweden-based Guillou who stabbed the ball home from close range to cap a valiant finish by the visitors, who fell behind on Priscila Chinchilla’s strike in the 57th minute.
The equalizer came in the third minute of injury time with goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel sending a free kick from the halfline to the penalty box.
With the home side unable to deal with the ball, Guillou showed great instincts to fire from close range before running to the bench in celebration.
The Filipinas needed a strong defensive effort in the first half and a stellar showing from McDaniel in between the sticks to keep the scores level.
But 12 minutes into the second half, the home side finally grabbed the lead with Chinchilla blasting the ball into the top corner after a low cross from the right.
The Filipinas were playing their first ever international match on Central American soil, just a month after losing to New Zealand in a friendly in Caiifornia.
And as much as he would like to grab a win, Filipinas coach Alen Stajcic was proud of his team’s performance.
“It was 90 minutes of courage, hard work, a lot of resilience.,” said Stajcic. “I’m proud of the spirit and hard work of the group. We know how much harder we have to work especially with the ball.”
Stajcic added: “Defensively I thought we were good with limited possession in the game and that’s a good part of the game. On the flip side, our ability to keep and pass the ball was not good enough tonight.”
Stajcic said performances like these show that “we really have to work hard to improve our technique and our first touch our passing.”
The Filipinas face Costa Rica again at 11 a.m. on Tuesday in a closed door match at Ricardo Saprissa Stadium.
The PWNT is supported by team manager Jefferson Cheng, the Philippine Sports Commission and the MVP Sports Foundation.