Filipinas aim to rest, recover

After losing to Thailand, national women’s football team head coach Alen Stajcic has nothing but two things in mind: Rest and recover.,Licking the wounds from a sorry 1-0 loss to the Thais late Tuesday, Stajcic said the Filipinas should focus on regrouping as they brace for an intense battle in the semifinals of the AFF Women’s Championship.,The Filipinas saw their four-game winning streak come to an end as Thailand claimed Group A leadership at the eliminations with 13 points from an unblemished four wins and one draw.,The Philippines, meanwhile, settled for second with 12 points and will face the top finisher of Group B.,Defending champion Vietnam is battling Myanmar at press time to determine which team will finish on top of Group B.,The Filipinas already faced both teams during the recent Southeast Asian Games, where they suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Vietnamese, but eventually salvaged a bronze medal from a 2-1 triumph over the Burmese.,“I think the key is recovery. This is brutal, this is the most brutal international tournament there is for women. You’re out to play five games in nine days,” Stajcic said.,“It’s gonna be tough, it’s gonna be tough against Vietnam and against Myanmar.”,Stajcic said fatigue played a huge role in their setback.,“To play 450 minutes in just nine days is something that I have not seen before in high level international – and even domesticated – football. It is brutal and torturous,” he said.,“We saw some players pass out there in the end. It’s an extremely grueling schedule.”,Saving some of his offensive pieces on the bench, the noted Australian mentor was forced to field striker Sarina Bolden as Kanyanat Chettabut delivered the lone goal in the 74th minute.,It was the second goal the Filipinas conceded in the tournament and was another result of a defensive lapse, this time, between Dom Randle and Sofia Harrison.,Bolden tried to press higher for a late equalizer, but the Filipinas’ last-minute efforts went in vain at the full-time whistle.,With a two-day rest for them, Stajcic said they have to maximize the entire 48 hours of planning and recovery on their quest of making it to the finals.,“Being (fully) recovered and healthy is certainly the biggest part (for the semifinals),” Stajcic said.