The Philippine women's national football team has yet to win a game in the Pinatar Cup 2023 but their team captain believes that they are taking steps in the right direction.
The Filipinas opened their campaign with a 1-0 loss to world No. 32 Wales, with Kayleigh Green's penalty late in the first half making the difference. On Saturday night, they absorbed a 2-1 defeat against No. 25 Scotland. Lauren Davidson and Rachel Corsie provided the goals for the Scots, but the Filipinas took some solace from Meryll Serrano's goal in the 90th minute.
"In the level that all of these games and matches are now … we have to be [switched] on all the time," Filipinas skipper Tahnai Annis said after their loss to Scotland. "We can't really afford any lapses or second-guessing."
"I think, as time goes on, we're just learning," she added. "So even if we take two steps back, and we take a step forward, and maybe a step back, and then a couple of steps forward."
"I think as long as we keep going in the direction that we want to, no matter how incremental it might be, I think we're still progressing and having a lot of takeaways from each game that we play, which will help us in the World Cup."
The Filipinas were stalwart on defense against Wales before a foul inside the box by Dominique Randle gifted their opponents with a penalty.
Against Scotland, the Filipinas pressed forward more regularly and had chances at goal, but couldn't keep Davidson and Corsie from scoring. Corsie converted off a corner by Real Madrid's Caroline Weir, after the pair was brought in as second half substitutes.
Still, the Filipinas continued to attack and were rewarded when Bella Flanigan won a free kick in the closing minute. Serrano's free kick sailed past Jenna Fife for their first goal of the Pinatar Cup, although Scotland was able to hold on and earn full points.
"We fought all the way until the end, and we're able to get that late goal. So, you know, our effort and our resilience are always there," Annis noted. "I think we did create some better opportunities for ourselves (compared to the last game)."
"I think it was more of a back and forth kind of game, and anyone could have taken that game, and it was just a matter of winning our moments, and Scotland won more moments than we did," she added.
"But the team effort, again, was there. And I think we can continue to progress from that, going into the Iceland match in a few days."
The Filipinas will conclude their Pinatar Cup campaign against Iceland, ranked 16th in the world, on Tuesday.