In a remarkable upset, the Philippines secured first-ever Women’s World Cup victory, stunning co-host New Zealand with a 1-0 win. The historic triumph came courtesy of a 24th-minute goal by Sarina Bolden, a California-born player.
Bolden’s first-half header marked the first-ever goal for the Philippines in the history of the prestigious competition. Despite New Zealand’s attempts to equalize, including a disallowed goal ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) for offside, the Philippines held on, and jubilant celebrations ensued.
For the World Cup debutant, this victory carries immense significance. Many of the players on the Philippine team are US-born, showcasing the diverse representation in women’s football. Notably, Sarina Bolden, who plays for Western Sydney Wanderers in the Australian A-League, is a standout player and a recognizable star for the team. Her dual eligibility to represent both the US and the Philippines adds to her significance in promoting football in the Asian nation.
With this breakthrough win, the Philippines now has a chance to create further history by progressing to the knockout phases in the finely-poised Group A.
The team’s success has sparked excitement and interest in soccer within the country, with more people showing enthusiasm for the sport, both at grassroots levels and among the Filipino-American community.
The 20-year-old Philippines fan, Maxine David, expressed mixed feelings as her family immigrated from the Philippines to New Zealand five years ago. While she appreciates New Zealand as her home, her Filipino heritage adds a sense of pride to the country’s historic achievement in the Women’s World Cup.
In another Tuesday match, Switzerland and Norway played out a goalless draw in Hamilton, New Zealand. The absence of Norway’s talismanic striker, Ada Hegerberg, due to a groin injury impacted Norway’s attacking efforts. Switzerland, on the other hand, secured an important point, maintaining its position atop Group A. With just one point after their opening two games, Norway faces a challenging task to qualify for the knockout phases.
Colombia opened its World Cup campaign with a resounding 2-0 victory over South Korea. Catalina Usme’s first-half penalty kick and 18-year-old Linda Caicedo’s goal secured the victory for the South American side. In a stadium filled with passionate Colombia fans, the team showcased its strength, claiming only its second-ever World Cup victory.
The game also witnessed history being made, as forward Casey Phair from South Korea became the youngest-ever player to appear in the Women’s World Cup, just 26 days after her 16th birthday, surpassing the previous record held by Nigeria’s Ifeanyi Chiejine in 1999.
As the Women’s World Cup continues, these exciting matches and historic moments contribute to the growth of women’s football and the celebration of talent and diversity on the global stage.