Filipinas fall short against NZ in international friendly

The Filipinas fell short against New Zealand during an international friendly game. (PWNFT official Facebook page)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Philippine Women’s National Football Team couldn’t sustain their hot start and absorbed a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the New Zealand Football Ferns in another international friendly match held at the Titan Stadium in the Cal State Fullerton campus in California, USA.

It was the Alen Stajcic-led football team who dictated the tempo early in the first half after getting inside the penalty box twice just 16 minutes into the match.

The Filipinas were aggressive with their offensive sets, always pushing the ball with pace and executing their plays with crisp ball movements.

Their efforts finally paid dividends just before the halftime whistle was about to be blown after Sarina Bolden drew first blood off a sweet pass from Sara Eggesvik.

The PHL national team carried some momentum heading into the second half as their aggressive style of play still helped them penetrate against the tall defenders of New Zealand.

However, after several in-game adjustments, New Zealand suddenly flipped the switch and all started in the defensive end after deploying more help when the Filipinas generated their schemes in the midfield.

Every time the Filipinas went off to the races and pushed the ball hard in hopes of another goal, the Ferns were always one step ahead and disrupted their flow with an intensified approach to their defense.

As usual, offense comes after good defense as New Zealand finally broke through the scoring column and equalized the match in the 71st minute courtesy of Meikayla Moore’s penalty conversion.

New Zealand’s offensive party didn’t end there and sent in a more painful blow after taking the lead in the 83rd minute.

The Filipinas tried to mount a comeback and ran quick offensive sets to even the score but time wasn’t on their side with only seven minutes remaining in the contest.

This is just the beginning of the PWNFT’s preparations for the 2023 FIFA World Cup and will still have a series of international friendlies before the year ends.