Chile nips Filipinas, 1-0

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PFF Sarina Bolden (middle) of the Philippines makes her move against tight-guarding Chilean defenders in their friendly game in Santiago. Chile won, 1-0.

Chile broke the hearts of the Filipinas in their friendly match as the South Americans rolled to a 1-0 win at the Estadio Municipal de la Pintana Tuesday night (Wednesday in Manila) in the capital of Santiago.

Karen Araya delivered the goal in the 24th minute on a tap-in to give La Roja Femenina the crucial go-ahead.

Desperate to level, the Filipinas absorbed a damaging blow when Sara Eggesvik was sent off in the 53rd minute for continuously contesting a referee’s call.

The Philippines was able to tighten the defense for the remainder of the game but wasn’t able to convert any shots before the final whistle.

Filipinas goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel had one last attempt to equalize for the team in the 90th minute but the Chileans were able to block her free-kick attempt to seal the game.

This is the last of the two-game friendly with the Philippines as they ended an 11-day training camp in the team’s first stint in South America.

While the Filipinas weren’t able to get a win in their second meeting, head coach Alen Stajcic was impressed with the squad’s second-half defense despite only fielding 10 players.

“Definitely, the second half was the benchmark. I think the players now know that’s the benchmark and nothing below that will be accepted moving forward,” Stajcic said.

“I thought the first game we showed some good signs defensively and we were disciplined like we were often this year whereas in the second game, I thought in the first half we lacked the intensity and drive that we should have and should be the foundation of the team so that was a little bit disappointing but you know we more than compensated for it in the second half.”

Stajcic also commended the team for the huge progress they have been showing in the past months after securing a spot at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup last February via a semifinal slot at the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

“We showed so much heart and spirit. It was really one of the best efforts from us in the last 12 months,” Stajcic said.

“It was a really eye-opening and pleasing second half and we needed it because we needed to compensate for that lack of intensity that is required for international football. All in all, it’s been a great experience, we learn, we grow and we move on to our next adventure.”

In their first clash in Vina del Mar a few days ago, the match ended on a 1-1 draw.

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