Guillou’s clutch tap steers Filipinas to a draw against Costa Rica

Katrina Guillou showed up in the clutch to save the Filipinas. (AFC photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Katrina Guillou saved the day for the Philippine Women’s national football team after sending in a late equalizer to earn a draw against Costa Rica, 1-1, in another international friendly game in preparation for the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

Filipinas’ superstar midfielder played the heroine for the Filipinas and tapped the ball off a scramble inside the penalty box.

After receiving the ball from a free kick in the middle, Costa Rica initially deflected the ball successfully but Guillou was there at the perfect time.

The stunner happened during the 93rd extension minute with Costa Rica clinging to a 1-point lead.

It was Costa Rica that dictated the tempo of the game for most of the match and picked the Filipinas’ defense in the first half.

After getting the feel of the Filipinas’ sets, Costa Rica quickly stepped on the gas pedal in the second half and drew first blood in the 57th minute.

Costa Rican forward Priscilla Chinchilla found the back of the net after receiving a pass from Melissa Herrera.

“We have to really work hard on that to improve our technique, our first touch, and our passing if we’re going to compete with good teams like these in their home, teams that are going to the World Cup,” said Filipinas’ head coach Alen Stajcic.

The Filipinas bounced back after trailing 0-1 and started with goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel’s heroic saves that set the tone for the national team.

With the time nearly expiring in the extension period, Guillou played hero ball to shock the higher-ranked Costa Rican national team.

Currently, the Filipinas are sitting in the 53rd spot of the FIFA Women’s World Rankings while Costa Rica is locked in on the 37th spot.

“I’m really proud of the spirit of the group, the hard work of the group, but we know how much harder we have to work especially on the ball,” added Stajcic.