FIFA Women’s World Cup: Philippines vowes to ‘crash the party’ against New Zealand

Despite losing its opening game 0-2 to Switzerland, The Philippines coach Alen Stajcic said his team is ready to crash New Zealand’s party, which won 1-0 against Norway in its opener.

Published : Jul 24, 2023 12:29 IST , WELLINGTON - 2 MINS READ

Alen Stajcic during Philippines’s first match against Switzerland.
Alen Stajcic during Philippines’s first match against Switzerland. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Alen Stajcic during Philippines’s first match against Switzerland. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Philippines coach Alen Stajcic is backing his Women’s World Cup debutants to “crash the party” when they play co-host New Zealand on Tuesday.

New Zealand is on a high after beating Norway 1-0 in the tournament opener to end a 15-game winless streak at Women’s World Cups dating back to 1991.

The Philippines lost 2-0 to Switzerland in its first game at the finals but proved to be no pushover.

A capacity crowd is expected in Wellington, with most cheering on the home side, but the Australian Stajcic said Monday: “You have to block all that out and embrace it.

“It’s a brilliant occasion, so to be playing in front of such a big crowd and TV audience is a really special moment.

READ | New Zealand team evacuated after hotel fire

“You have to go out there and give it your best shot, so as motivating as it will be for New Zealand, it is for our team as well.”

Since Stajcic’s appointment as coach in 2021, the Philippines have jumped from 68 in the FIFA rankings to its current best-ever placing of 46th.

Its surge began with the Women’s Asian Cup last year when it made the semifinals, losing to South Korea but securing a historic World Cup berth.

New Zealand ran out 2-1 winners over the Philippines in a friendly last September, but Stajcic said the close defeat helped his team develop.

“I think that game was a real turning point for me to know that we can rise to this level,” he said.

“We want to crash the party. It’s not really their party — it’s everyone’s, ours as well.

“Football in all our countries is not number one — in the Philippines, New Zealand or Australia — so we need to do everything we can to bolster support for women’s football.”

Although the majority in the stadium on Tuesday will be behind the Football Ferns, the Philippines team can expect plenty of its own support in Wellington. New Zealand has a large Filipino community.

“It’s been exciting knowing that even in these games, a few hours’ plane ride from Manila, to have that type of support means everything in the world knowing that the country is backing us,” said forward Katrina Guillou.

“It’s that kind of extra support that we need to keep on going for the full 90 minutes.”

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment