In a stunning upset, the Philippines made history in their debut Women’s World Cup appearance by securing a 1-0 victory against co-hosts New Zealand. The momentous match-winner came from Sarina Bolden, who found the net with their first shot on goal in the 24th minute. The unexpected triumph silenced a stadium filled with 33,000 predominantly Kiwi football fans.
New Zealand had entered the game as favorites, hopeful to secure another win after their upset against Norway in the opening match. The match began with the Football Ferns displaying confidence and control, expecting this to be their best chance to progress to the round of 16 for the first time in six World Cups.
In the early minutes, New Zealand’s goalkeeper, Vic Esson, had little to do until a threatening free kick required her to intervene. The Philippines’ goal disrupted New Zealand’s rhythm and instilled panic in their defense. Just four minutes after the first free kick, Bolden capitalized on another set-piece chaos. She headed the ball home and sparked jubilation among Philippines supporters.
As the first half progressed, New Zealand attempted to regroup and respond with several chances. But unfortunately, they were unable to convert any opportunities into goals. Despite their relentless efforts in the second half, they couldn’t find the elusive equalizer.
The moment of contention arrived in the 68th minute when Jacqui Hand’s apparent equalizing goal was disallowed due to offside. The decision was close, with Wilkinson’s arm and part of her shoulder judged offside.
In the intense final moments, Philippines’ Carleigh Frilles also netted the ball but from an offside position. While New Zealand’s Grace Jale was denied by an outstanding save from the Philippines’ goalkeeper, McDaniel.
Philippines celebrated their historic victory in the world cup, while New Zealand faced disappointment. The co-hosts’ hopes of reaching the round of 16 were dashed by the determined Philippine side.
The Philippines will conclude their Group A campaign against 1995 winners Norway, aiming to build on their remarkable success. Meanwhile, New Zealand prepares to face Switzerland as they regroup and aim to bounce back from the unexpected defeat.
The Women’s World Cup continues to deliver thrilling surprises, showcasing the passion and talent of teams from around the world. The Philippines’ inspiring debut performance has left football enthusiasts eagerly awaiting their next match.