Filipinas head coach Alen Stajcic is expecting more crowd in the next couple of games in the 2022 AFF Women’s Championships following a 1-0 start against a youth-laden Australian team at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Amid light rain, Filipino fans cheered for the Philippine women’s national football team which earned three points and leveled Thailand in Group A Monday night, July 4.
“It’s an amazing crowd. To hear the noise full time was amazing,” said Australian mentor Stajcic. “To be really honest, I think this team deserves a full stadium here. I thank everyone who came out and supported the team.
“But I think these players, they meant the heart they showed, they meant the spirit they showed, they deserve this (Rizal Memorial Stadium) to be packed the next four games.”
This was the first time that the national team played on home soil and the Philippines hosted a prestigious football tournament since the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019.
And there couldn’t be a better present for the supportive crowd but a win on home turf.
Sarina Bolden, the main heroine for scoring the lone goal of the match, for her part, echoed Stajcic’s sentiments and likewise thanked the Filipino fans for gracing Rizal Memorial Stadium despite the non-stop drizzle.
“Incredible. We definitely feed up their energy,” said Bolden, who scored a header off an Eva Madarang throw in at the 59th minute mark. “The more people that come out, the better. So thank you so much. Salamat po.”
The Filipinas are up against Singapore, which earlier settled a scoreless draw with Malaysia, on Wednesday, July 6 at the same venue.