McDaniel: World Cup stint is just the beginning for Filipinas
The Filipinas are just starting to scratch the surface.
Following a historic FIFA Women’s World Cup maiden stint, the Philippine women’s national football team still has a lot left in the tank.
Filipinas goalie Olivia McDaniel made this known after the Filipinas World Cup campaign came to a close as they absorbed a 0-6 beating from Norway on Sunday, July 30 at the Eden Park.
“There’s a lot more to look forward to. I’m so proud of the tournament we’ve put on. We got our first three points, we got a goal. We can’t really ask for more,” said McDaniel.
“We’re definitely going to try to get back here in the next four years. This is not the end for the Filipinas. There’s a lot more in us. We [have] a lot of tournaments this year so it’s not the end. We’re excited to keep going.”
McDaniel and the Filipinas made history in New Zealand, giving the Philippines its first-ever World Cup appearance on July 21 when it lost to world no. 20 Sweden, 0-2.
They then gave the country its first-ever World Cup goal through a Sarina Bolden header and win against world no. 26 New Zealand, 1-0, on July 25.
Turning heads, the Filipino booters surprisingly kept themselves in contention for a top two Pool A finish and a knockout stage appearance with the victory.
World no. 12 Norway, though, denied world no. 46 Philippines from achieving another football milestone, unfurling a clinical performance at the close of the group phase action on Sunday in Auckland.
For now, McDaniel and the Filipinas, who finished last in Pool A with a 1-2 slate and three points, would just have to concede to the fact that the Grasshoppers are the much more better team.
Bad as the loss is, McDaniel said that the only way to improve is to face a juggernaut football team like the Norwegians who advanced to the knockout stage alongside Switzerland.
“Such world-class girls coming at us. I mean [Caroline] Graham Hansen, [Guro] Reiten, they are just amazing athletes. You gotta give it to them,” said McDaniel of Norway.
“That’s okay, we learn from it. We learn playing against such titans of the sport. That’s how powerful they are. All we can do is learn from it, grow, and keep moving forward.”
The Filipinas’ effort against Norway was not lost on head coach Alen Stajcic, saying he’s proud of the team.
“We tried to fight to the end with 10 players and we kept them out from 25 to 30 minutes. I am so proud with the heart and spirit of the team,” said Stajcic.
“They fought till the end, to the death, and from that perspective it has been an amazing World Cup.”
Up next for the Filipinas is the Asian Games in China this September.