The Philippines’ women’s national soccer team have made history by securing the country’s first-ever World Cup win.
The Philippines’ Women’s National Football Team pulled off a stunning upset
over the FIFA Women’s World Cup
2023 co-host New Zealand at Wellington Regional Stadium on Tuesday evening. The hard-fought match saw the Filipinas (ranked 46th in the world) secure a historic 1-0 victory against the Football Ferns (ranked 26th) via a first-half header from striker Sarina Bolden.
The Philippines’ resilient defense, led by goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel, was instrumental in ensuring the win despite New Zealand’s dominance in possession and numerous second-half chances.
“It means everything to us,” said McDaniel, who was named Player of the Match, after the match. “Being able to win for my country, for my team, and for my family, everybody – it just means everything.”
Crashing the party: Coach Alen Stajcic had spoken about “crashing the party” ahead of the match, and his team delivered on that promise.
The Ferns, who recorded their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup win against a highly rated Norway team in the tournament opener, went into the match against the Filipinas as heavy favorites by analysts to win.
With 20 minutes remaining in the match, forward Jacqui Hands made a goal that would have equalized the score but it was disallowed due to an offside call against Hannah Wilkinson in the build-up.
“I’ve got everyone else’s tears all over my eyes, it’s so emotional,” Stajcic was quoted as saying. “You saw how long New Zealand had to wait for its first win — six World Cups — and (for Philippines) to get it today was incredible. We made our own luck but we also had a lot of luck. New Zealand were on the front foot the whole game and deserved something. But football is cruel sometimes.”
Hope stays alive: New Zealand’s loss comes on the back of their 1-0 win against Norway, while the Philippines previously suffered a 2-0 defeat to Switzerland in their World Cup debut.
With the Philippines’ win, Group A has been thrown wide open, leaving Norway as the only team in the group without any points as of this writing. The shock victory also set the stage for an exciting contest in the upcoming matches, with New Zealand facing Switzerland in Dunedin and the Philippines taking on Norway in Auckland on Sunday.