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Stajcic, Philippines far from satisfied

The Filipinas football team is set to undergo revamp. Photo courtesy of PWNFT

The Philippines will not be satisfied with just one win as it seeks to go all out and punch a ticket to the knockout stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.

Filipinas’ head coach Alen Stajcic said they are far from satisfied as they aim to book a crucial win over Norway to seal their spot in the Last 16 of this prestigious 32-nation tournament.

The Filipinas made history when Sarina Bolden connected a beautiful header in the 24th minute of their group stage battle with New Zealand at the Sky Stadium in Wellington.

Then, goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel essayed a fitting end to their fantastic game when she tallied the Filipinas’ first clean sheet after foiling the Ferns’ numerous attacks to seal the victory.

With the win, the Filipinas cemented their status as one of the rising powers in international football.

Still, Stajcic wants his wards to remain hungry.

“The job is not yet done. It’s very important that we switch back into competition mode and think about what we have to do in the last game to try to squeeze out of this group,” said Stajcic, whose wards will face the Norwegians on Sunday at Eden Park in Auckland.

“That’s such a monumental task, especially when it’s our third game in just over a week, so we have to recover physically and from the emotion.”

McDaniel, who made a game-changing save in the 3rd minute of added time, echoed Stajcic’s sentiments as there is still plenty of football left to play in their World Cup debut.

“We can’t stop now, we have much more work to do,” McDaniel said.

But Norway is no easy foe.

The Gresshoppene, who ruled this tourney in 1995, has yet to win a game this year in the World Cup with star striker Ada Hegerberg unable to score in their 0-1 loss to New Zealand last Thursday before settling for a 0-0 draw against Switzerland last Sunday.

Things took a turn for the worse as Hegerberg, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, withdrew minutes before the match against La Nati after feeling some discomfort while warming up.

“We decided with the staff that no risk should be taken and no subs should be wasted in such an important game for us, and we all trusted Sophie (Román Haug), Karina (Sævik), and the team to do the job, which they did. We move on,” she said.

Even Gresshoppene head coach Hege Riise has yet to determine the extent of the Lyon star’s injury.

“There was communication early enough, so we could have an extra substitute,” Riise said in a post-match interview.

“I haven’t spoken to the medical team. I don’t have an answer. I haven’t spoken to her. I’m not in a position to say anything.”

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