Girald Gaston

Filipinas’ first stint in its Spanish trip didn’t go as planned.

Photo Courtesy of ABS-CBN News

Playing for the first time in three months, the Philippine women’s national football team was not able to shake off rust against Finland, after absorbing a 4-0 defeat in an international friendly on Wednesday at Pinatar Arena in Murcia, Spain.

The Filipinas last saw action in the second round of AFC Olympic Qualifiers in November, and the prolonged break did not favor the Nationals’ side as they couldn’t contain the Finnish phenom Oona Sevenius.

The 19-year-old sensation emerged as a constant headache for the 38th-ranked Filipinas, as she skillfully netted a hat-trick, posing a formidable challenge for the national team throughout the match.

Establishing their superiority early on, the 27th-ranked Finnish squad took charge of the match with an aggressive approach, as Sevenius kickstarted the scoring with a goal off left foot in the 24th minute.

Eva Nyström wasted no time after Sevenius' initial strike, nodding in a header just four minutes later to further elevate Finland's lead, 2-0.

Sevenius notched another goal in the 43rd minute, followed by a header assisted goal in the 72nd minute, sealing Finland's triumph over the Philippines.

There was a slight scare when Filipina star Sarina Bolden appeared to sustain a head injury in the 74-minute mark, but luckily, she swiftly bounced back and went on to complete the game.

In this friendly match, Filipinas coach Mark Torcaso also took the opportunity to introduce fresh faces to the international stage with the debut of Camille Sahirul, who was selected for the starting XI, along with Katana Norman and Alexa Pino.

Despite starting off on the wrong foot, the Filipinas retain every opportunity to turn the tide as they face a real test in Pinatar Cup against No. 25 Scotland on February 24th, which will then be followed against the victor of the clash between No.44 Slovenia and Finland on February 27th.