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(C) Football Federation of Chile


Hali Long proud of Filipinas’ stand vs Chile

Hali Long proved to be a difference maker once again for the Philippine Women’s National Football Team.

In an away game against Chile, which is ranked 38th in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship scored in the 26th minute off a Sara Eggesvik assist to draw first blood for coach Alen Stajcic’s side.

However, her strike was not enough as the Filipinas conceded a late Sonya Keefe goal in the 84th minute to share the spoils with a 1-1 scoreline.

“Overall, I think we showed a really good performance. Definitely, really had good moments coming out of Costa Rica,” said the 5-foot-8 defender. “It was really a big challenge we had out here against Chile. The environment was great. The team was physical with great possession of the ball.

“I think we really put a good foot forward coming out of the gate. I’m really proud of the effort we had here tonight.”

Long’s goal was her 16th strike for the country in 63 appearances.

A lot of her goals have come from headers in set-pieces, which demonstrates the danger she poses to teams in such situations.

For her, though, it was all about applying what she and her teammates learned from the training ground.

“I was unmarked. It was just me, Sara (Eggesvik), and the ball. It was nice that she took her time and I could reroute my run but the scouting report from the staff is really great so it was pretty much textbook,” said the 27-year-old product of University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“Whatever we trained, came out there on the field.”

By playing away games, the Filipinas are learning how to play under the gaze of large crowds.

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Against Chile, the home side had a sizable number of fans at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar.

It is experiences like these that will only toughen the Filipinas up for the big dance – next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“For a South American crowd, (we’re) really honored to be here and we can represent (the Philippines),” said the Missouri native.

“I’m really happy we have some Pinoys out here in the crowd.”

The Filipinas and the La Roja Femenina are set to square off again on Wednesday. For Stajcic’s wards, this game and the next one are in preparation already for the World Cup.

For the Chileans, though, the two matches are to further prepare for the inter-confederation playoffs.

With so much at stake for Chile, expect the home side to provide another tough test for the Philippines, which already has eyes on next year’s big dance.

“Obviously, we’re waiting to see if Chile will get into the World Cup. It’s really great momentum getting to play a South American team, getting to know different aspects of football all over the world,” said Long.

“Super blessed that our staff, our federation, and our manager have allowed us this opportunity. Hopefully, we are making them proud and stepping up to the big plate because the World Cup’s not gonna be easy,” she continued.

“No game is taken for granted especially against New Zealand playing at home.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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