Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Football: Philippines Aims for Strong Finish in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

MANILA — Philippines FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers campaign with a spirited performance against Indonesia. Despite being eliminated from contention for the next FIFA World Cup, the team is determined to end their campaign on a positive note.

Last week, the Philippines faced a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Vietnam at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium in Hanoi, which dashed their hopes of advancing in the qualifiers. Nevertheless, the team is gearing up for their final match against Indonesia, which will take place on Tuesday night at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, where over 70,000 fans are expected to attend.

Philippines head coach Tom Saintfiet expressed his thoughts ahead of the match. “Tomorrow is the last match for us in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers of 2026. Sadly enough, we are out of contention to reach that goal, but we are looking forward to the game,” Saintfiet said. “Hopefully, it is packed, and the fans make a show of it. We will do everything tomorrow to get a result. A draw would be fantastic, a win would be a miracle.

The Philippines and Indonesia previously played to a 1-1 draw in November at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Striker Patrick Reichelt, who scored his 16th international goal against Vietnam, highlighted the excitement of playing in Indonesia. “It’s always exciting to play here. Indonesia is a football-crazy country, so for us players, it’s always an experience to come here and show ourselves,” Reichelt said.

“Indonesia is going through a huge transition now and played in the Asian Cup just a few months ago. They’re going through a huge change, we’re going through a big transition, so it’s just exciting to see where the two of us stand today,” he added.

With the Philippines’ 2026 World Cup qualification hopes extinguished, Coach Saintfiet is already looking ahead to the Mitsubishi Electric Cup, Southeast Asia’s premier competition, set to take place later this year. “We are building a team for later this year, for the Mitsubishi Electric Cup, where we will face Indonesia and Vietnam again – that’s more our target. This is a transition phase where we are building,” he explained. “But even in this transition phase we want to be a tough opponent for Indonesia. And we’re going to do everything to stay positive.”

Kick-off for the match against Indonesia is at 8:30 p.m. Philippine time.


More Posts

Send Us A Message