Alen Stajcic after Costa Rica friendlies: We need to improve the technical part of the game

Filipinas head coach Alen Stajcic expressed satisfaction with the Philippine women's national football team's recent performance against Costa Rica but pointed out that there is still a room for improvement as far as the technical part of their game is concerned.

Filipinas head coach Alen Stajcic (PWNFT)

After capping off training camp in Costa Rica, the Filipinas made their passing grades at least for Stajcic following a promising run against a World Cup-caliber squad.

Despite most of the girls nursing a couple of injuries and illnesses during the camp, the Australian mentor commended his wards for a job well done and for showing once more that the squad can compete on a higher level of football.

"I believe we competed well against an experienced World Cup opponent, however it's clear we need to improve the technical part of our game," said Stajcic.

"The team showed great heart, commitment and discipline which we are pleased with excellent experience overall playing a Latin American Country for the first time ever (away from home) and proving once again that we are constantly working hard and improving for the upcoming World Cup."

The Filipinas settled for a 1-1 draw behind the late-game heroics of Katrina Guillou in the first match but eventually absorbed a 2-1 defeat the second time around despite the early first half goal of Carleigh Frilles.

For the most part, the Philippines showed grit and leveled against a higher-ranked nation in Costa Rica, which is seated No. 37 in the world.

"It's great experience to come to a beautiful country and football loving culture like Costa Rica," recalled Stajcic. "It was tough for us on the pitch with eight to nine injuries and illnesses in the squad. We showed some flexibility in our squad with different combinations and players playing in different roles."

After showing a promising run over in Central America, the Filipinas now brace for the 2023 FIFA World Cup draw to be held on Oct. 22 in New Zealand, which will co-host the prestigious football stage alongside Australia.

The Philippines is currently the 53rd nation in the FIFA World Rankings and the results of its recent friendlies would significantly affect its draw should it move up to a higher rank.

Nonetheless, the Filipinas, who ruled the 2022 AFF Women's Championship last July, are already assured of their slot in the World Cup for being semifinalists of the 2022 AFC Women's Asia Cup last January.