After the spectacular win, Stajcic looks forward to further improvement

10 Jul 2022 | 08:04 | Football

Filipinas women's soccer team

The Filipinas Women’s Soccer Team in the AFF Women’s Soccer Championship. –PILIPINASWNFT

Coach Alen Stajcic suggested focusing on improving rather than enjoying the Philippines’ strong win over Singapore on Wednesday in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Football Championship.

“I still think we have a long way to go to get where I want to be,” he said.

Filipinas played at lightning speed and beat Singapore 7-0 at Rizal Memorial Stadium, a result that helped the host country top Group A with six points after two matches.

Isabella Flanigan’s opener, an own goal, was followed by goals each from Tahnai Annis and Sarina Bolden in the first half with Sara Eggesvik, Kaya Hawkinson and Anicka Castañeda finding their mark after half-time. lots of fun for the home team’s supporters after a gritty 1-0 win over Australia two nights earlier.

Stajcic has been impressed with how the goals have come, but said a performance against one of the lightest opponents in the group stage won’t cut it off once Filipinas face rivals at the end of the regional championship. .

“Although some of the goals are huge and world-class, the passing and the mix of play are probably the areas where we have to work the most,” he said.

The Philippines are favored to win their next two matches against Malaysia on Friday and Indonesia on Sunday, before facing a tough Thai side in the final match of the group stage on July 12. .

Thailand are second in the table with four points after beating Australia with a 2-2 draw a day earlier at Rizal Memorial Stadium. Malaysia is third with two points after a 1-1 draw against Indonesia while Australia, Singapore and Indonesia are equal each.

The top two teams advanced to the semi-finals, and Filipinas appeared to be on track after two days of play despite Stajcic’s observation.

“We showed that we are a good defensive team, but with the ball, I think we have the most room for improvement. And tonight, we showed some glimpses of that,” said Stajcic.

Flanigan’s volley in the ninth minute of the contest kicked off Filipinas’ attack on the Lionesses, who barely offered a challenge for the rest of the run.

Singapore conceded a few seconds after Flanigan’s opener as defender Ernie Sontaril tried to block Annis’ cross to no avail. Wearing the captain’s armband, Annis then made it 3-0 in the 19th minute with a header from close range.

She also scored her fourth goal before halftime, making a cross that led to a free header from Bolden, who took home the goal against Australia in the previous game.

Eggesvik and Hawkinson scored their first goals for the Philippines in the 46th and 55th minutes before Castañeda joined the tally in the 68th minute, thwarting a deflected effort by Carleigh Frilles.

Possessing superior possession, the Philippines had an easier time defending, leaving veteran goalkeeper Inna Palacios, who made his 50th national team cap, to keep a clean sheet.

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