The Philippine women’s football team faces a formidable cast of foes when it competes in the Pinatar Cup next month in Murcia, Spain.
As part of its buildup for the 2023 World Cup in New Zealand, the squad will lock horns with Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and national coach Alan Stajcic will see them as the clear underdogs.
In the World Cup, the Philippines will be Group A with Switzerland, Norway and tournament co-host New Zealand.
“We’re obviously the underdog. We have never been there, never played in that caliber of teams before. Let alone in a tournament like that,” Stajcic said.
Also on tap for the Filipinas are Asian Football Confederation Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in April and the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh in May.
The Filipinas will be in Group E for the first round of the Olympic qualifiers from 3 to 11 April with Hong Kong, Tajikistan and Pakistan.
The Philippines will also have a high chance of facing fellow World Cup participants Vietnam in the 32nd SEA Games.
Stajcic hopes the team will peak at the right time for them to be competitive in the World Cup.
“It’s going to be a really big year for us so we’re really building momentum before the World Cup.”