The Philippine women’s national football team made History on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, by defeating co-host New Zealand 1-0 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The victory is the first for the Philippines in the World Cup, a major surprise to many.
The match was a close affair, with both teams creating chances. However, it was the Philippines that struck first in the 24th minute. Sarina Bolden scored the goal, heading in a free kick from Sara Eggesvik.
New Zealand pressed for an equalizer in the second half, but the Philippines’ defense held firm. Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel made several key saves, and the team’s overall performance was impressive.
The victory is a breakthrough for the Philippines women’s football team. It is a testament to the team’s dedication and hard work and will give the team confidence as they continue their campaign in the World Cup.
The decisive goal
The match’s decisive goal came in the 24th minute when Sarina Bolden scored a header from a Sara Eggesvik free kick. Bolden has been a key player for the Philippines throughout the World Cup, and her goal was a major boost for the team.
Olivia McDaniel’s heroic goalkeeping
Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel was also a key player in the Philippines’ victory. She made several key saves in the second half, keeping the New Zealand team at bay. McDaniel’s performance was a major factor in the Philippines’ victory.
A nail-biting moment
In the 68th minute of the game, there was a tense moment when Jacqui Hand from New Zealand seemed to have scored a goal. However, after a VAR review, it was discovered that Hannah Wilkinson was offside, resulting in the goal being ruled out. The Philippines benefited from the decision, and their team successfully held on to secure the victory.
Group standings and goal difference
With this victory, the Philippines are tied with New Zealand and Switzerland in Group A, each team having secured three points. However, due to goal difference, the Philippines are currently in the third position. Switzerland can reclaim the lead if they win against Norway in their upcoming match.
Coach Alen Stajcic’s reflections on the victory
Australian coach Alen Stajcic was delighted with the victory, calling it the biggest win in any team sport for Philippine football. He acknowledged that while luck played a part, the team’s unity, work rate, and heart were truly special. Stajcic’s experience as a two-time World Cup coach added weight to his statement that beating the host nation in a World Cup is an unparalleled achievement.
The spirited support from fans and the Filipino community
The Philippines received overwhelming support from fans and the Filipino community during the historic match. Hours before kick-off, fans sporting red-white-blue scarves and Philippine flaglets filled the stadium. Notable personalities, including actor Ryan Agoncillo, actress Judy Ann Santos, and Magnolia assistant coach Jason Webb, were present to cheer on the team. The Filipino community demonstrated their unity with a colorful “Ati-Atihan” street dance before the game.
Senator Pia Cayetano’s words of encouragement for Team Filipinas
Senator Pia Cayetano, who witnessed the momentous win, expressed her gratitude to all Filipinos who supported the team, both in person and online. Despite being outnumbered by the New Zealand crowd, the chants of “Let’s Go Pilipinas!” echoed proudly in the stadium. Senator Cayetano highlighted that this victory showcased the potential of Filipinos when given the opportunity and support. She encouraged everyone to rally behind Team Filipinas as they face their next challenge against Norway, ranked 12th in the world.
The Philippines’ triumph in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will go down in History as a remarkable achievement for Philippine football. This victory serves as an inspiration and a testament to the dedication and talent of the team. As the tournament progresses, the nation eagerly awaits its next match, hoping to witness more exceptional performances on the field and create more unforgettable moments in the football world.