Philippine women's football team ahead of its match against Iceland in the Pinatar Cup. –FILIPINAS FACEBOOK PAGE

Philippine women’s football team ahead of its match against Iceland in the Pinatar Cup. –FILIPINAS FACEBOOK PAGE

Coach Alen Stajcic described the climb of the Philippine women’s football team to a record 49th spot in the International Association Football Federation (Fifa) world rankings as a sign that the program is doing just fine ahead of the country’s maiden World Cup campaign.

“[It’s a] further objective confirmation that we are heading in the right direction,” Stajcic said hours after the latest rankings were released by football’s world governing body.

The Filipinas moved four spots higher from 53rd, a position they’ve held since June after taking part in last month’s Pinatar Cup in Spain.

Despite losing all three matches against higher-placed nations Wales, Scotland and Iceland, the stint turned out to be a positive thing for the Philippines, rankings-wise.

The rankings came ahead of competitions that will be held prior to the World Cup, namely the first round of the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers and the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Azkals absorbed a 2-0 loss to Kuwait in a friendly match held as part of the men’s side’s West Asia training camp during the Fifa window.

Two goals conceded inside the final 20 minutes forced the Azkals to taste defeat at Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City.

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