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Stajcic demands same fire, intensity

National women’s football coach Alen Stajcic is demanding the same fire, the same intensity when they clash with Papua New Guinea in another friendly match on Thursday at the Western Sydney Wanderers Park in Australia.

Stajcic said he wants the Filipinas to take the friendly battle seriously as they gear up for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in August.

The last time the Filipinas and the Papuans collide was last Sunday with the trailblazing Asian booters pulling off a masterful 5-1 victory.

“Good opportunity to play a game where we could dominate possession and give some more players critical game time,” Stajcic, who led Australia in the Tokyo Olympics, said.

“Even though we are rusty at times, were some really good moments, too. Looking forward to building for the next game on Thursday.”

Ranked No. 53 in the latest International Football Federation ranking, the Philippines had already played a series of friendly matches against quality teams like New Zealand, Costa Rica and Chile to get acclimatized for the grueling battle in the World Cup.

With that, expect Carleigh Frilles, Tahnai Annis, Eva Madarang and Meryll Serrano to be marked players when they take on the Papuans after staging a scoring clinic in their previous friendly.

Philippine Football Federation secretary general Edwin Gastanes said he wants the Filipinas to keep doing what already worked for them in the last match.

“They should maintain what they had done in the last match and this is a training match. It’s a way for the coaching staff to look at the players again and fine-tune their movements,” Gastanes said.

“Matches on our team are necessary so that they will jell more and grow with each other more in the game.”

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