FIFA World Cup

PH women’s football pumped for last FIFA World Cup stretch

Beatrice Go

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PH women’s football pumped for last FIFA World Cup stretch

ALL SET. Hailey Long and Inna Palacios with the members of the Australian and New Zealand embassy and PFF officials. 


The World Cup-bound Philippine women’s football team prepares for its final training camp in Australia

MANILA, Philippines – The FIFA Women’s World Cup is finally on the horizon for the Philippines as the team gears up for its final training camp in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, June 10.

Aside from top-caliber friendlies and scrimmages, head coach Alan Stajcic has warned the team to prepare for the most challenging part of their journey, and they are not expecting less. 

“We have to dig deep and find something within us that we never had to reach before to accomplish something that we’ve never done before,” said co-captain Hali Long. 

“It will be a new experience – the training – and we’re all excited. We’re excited to see how far we can push ourselves in training and how it’s going to translate on the field.” 

The Philippines, ranked No. 46, will be playing against host New Zealand, world No. 12 Norway, and world No. 20 Switzerland. 

After qualifying for a maiden berth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in January last year, the Philippines achieved even more milestones. 

The Philippines ended a 37-year medal drought after winning the bronze-medal match against Myanmar in the Vietnam SEA Games in May 2022. Two months later, the Filipinas made history again by becoming the first Philippine team to win an AFF Championship, which was marked by crucial wins over Australia and Thailand. 

The Philippine women’s football team also reached its highest world ranking of all time at No. 46, eclipsing the previous rank of No. 53. 

Looking back at all that they achieved, the Philippine football team players never imagined that they are living out their dreams. 

“I haven’t seen the team go this far this quick. It’s been incredible,” said co-captain Inna Palacios.  

“We’ve gone through a lot of milestones that we had just imagined achieving then made it all come alive, it’s something that left all of us surprised.” 

While the Philippine team embraces its underdog tag on the big stage, the Filipinas aren’t fazed from their main goal of proving that they are not there because of luck and it will not be the last time Filipinos will see the flag in the World Cup.

“It starts from there. We have to prove to everyone in the world na hindi tsamba ang ginawa namin (it’s not just luck) and I think that takes a lot of consistency in the program and the grassroots here,” added Palacios. 

“Overall, we’re trying to develop a sport here in the country and we’ll take necessary steps to be able to do that.”

The Philippines will kick off its campaign against Switzerland on July 21 at 1 pm, Philippine time. The Filipinas will then go against host team New Zealand on July 23, 1:30 pm, and will cap off the group stage against Norway on July 30 at 3 pm. – 

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.