The remarkable journey of the Philippine women’s football team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup may have ended, but their impact resonates deeply with the nation and Filipinos worldwide. Mariano Araneta, the President of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), and Atty. Ed Gastanes, the PFF General Secretary, expressed their profound gratitude and pride for the Filipinas’ historic outing in the global tournament.
In the aftermath of the Filipinas’ valiant performance and their 0-6 loss to Norway in Group A competition at Eden Park, the PFF officials lauded the team for accomplishing a significant feat beyond the scoreboard.
Mariano Araneta emphasized how the Filipinas’ participation in the World Cup united the entire nation, transcending geographical boundaries. “While they may have missed out on qualification to the knockout stages, they have achieved something greater,” Araneta stated. He noted that the support shown by the Filipino community, both within the Philippines and worldwide, was an overwhelming testament to the team’s impact.
Acknowledging the tireless efforts and sacrifices made by the team, Araneta thanked the entire Filipinas squad, led by team manager Jefferson Cheng and head coach Alen Stajcic. He expressed the pride and gratitude of the Filipino nation, concluding with a heartfelt “Maraming salamat, Filipinas!” – a sincere thank you to the team.
Atty. Ed Gastanes echoed Araneta’s sentiments, acknowledging the Philippine Women’s National Team as a beacon of hope and joy for Filipino fans. He marveled at the outpouring of support from within the Philippines and from Filipinos worldwide, evident in numerous watch parties held in various locations.
While the World Cup campaign may have ended, Gastanes emphasized that the Filipinas’ journey continues. He highlighted the team’s unwavering heart and fighting spirit, which will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark on the history of Philippine football. He also appreciated team manager Jefferson Cheng and head coach Alen Stajcic’s exceptional leadership.
Remarkable milestones punctuated the Filipinas’ presence in the World Cup. Their stunning 1-0 upset of the hometown Football Ferns on July 25 at the Sky Stadium in Wellington stood out as a historic moment. Striker Sarina Bolden’s impactful header secured the nation’s first-ever World Cup goal, while goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel’s outstanding performance earned her Player of the Match honors.
Throughout their journey, the Filipinas drew passionate support from fans in the Philippines, across the globe, and in New Zealand, making each match feel like a home game. Coach Alen Stajcic expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming enthusiasm from Filipino fans who traveled to Dunedin, Wellington, and Auckland to cheer for the team.
While the Filipinas’ World Cup run may have concluded, their legacy and the unity they inspired will continue to resonate within Filipinos’ hearts and women’s football fans worldwide.