‘Special’ win over co-hosts left Philippines stars in tears

'Special' win over co-hosts left Philippines stars in tears

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The Philippines’ first Women’s World Cup victory “has to be one of the biggest wins in the history of sport in the country”, says manager Alen Stajcic.

Sarina Bolden’s early header shocked co-hosts New Zealand, who missed a golden opportunity to edge closer to the knockout stages in Wellington, but it was a brilliant result for debutants the Philippines.

“How can you top beating a host nation at a World Cup? It’s number one,” said Stajcic.

“It was very emotional out on the pitch, seeing just about everyone crying. It’s unbelievable. When you hear stories of other teams needing so long to win World Cup matches… We have done it in our second match in our first World Cup.

“You can’t really appreciate how far back in the pack we have come compared to these teams. The unity, work rate and heart from the team was special.

“I don’t know if there’s been a bigger win for Philippines’ sport. It has to be one of the biggest wins in the history of the country.”

Global success has come the way of the Philippines thanks to superstar boxer Manny Pacquiao, but at this World Cup new sporting heroes are emerging.

The Philippines players celebrated passionately at full-time as substitutes and staff sprinted onto the pitch with many holding their heads in their hands in disbelief.

Meanwhile New Zealand, who shocked Norway on the opening day and knew another victory could have sealed their place in the last 16, were left frustrated as they could not find a breakthrough.

Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel produced heroics in stoppage time, denying New Zealand substitute Grace Jale with an excellent fingertip save as her half-volley was heading towards the bottom corner.

New Zealand, spurred on by a vocal home crowd, were pushing for an equaliser for the entirety of the second half but Jacqui Hand had a goal ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee [VAR] after she hit the post earlier, while striker Hannah Wilkinson headed a cross over the bar from one of the game’s biggest chances.

“It means everything to us. We really put our head down and we knew what was coming at us,” said McDaniel. “We had a goal in mind and we achieved it. We couldn’t have asked for any better.

“This is what the team and the coaching staff have done. We put in our work and came out on top because of it. But we still have so much work to do.”

‘Sport can be exciting and heartbreaking’

Philippines players celebrate beating New Zealand
Sarina Bolden scored the Philippines’ first goal at a Women’s World Cup in their second game in the competition

Bolden sprinted away in celebration in the 24th minute after heading in Sara Eggesvik’s clipped cross for the country’s first goal at a Women’s World Cup.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, lower-ranked nations had performed well in the tournament but had typically not found the cutting edge to take them over the line. However, the Philippines bucked the trend.

Buoyed by their defensive sturdiness in the opening 20 minutes, they began to cause problems on the counter-attack and Bolden took advantage, powering a header past Victoria Esson from close range.

Creative touches, slick passing and dynamic movement followed from the Philippines as they grew in confidence, heading into the break with an unexpected lead.

New Zealand had support from the home crowd, but they grew increasingly frustrated in the second half and tension built in the Wellington Regional Stadium.

Celtic’s Olivia Chance made a difference when she was introduced, producing several good balls from the left, but goalkeeper McDaniel stood firm in the Philippines goal.

Hand’s disallowed goal, her strike which hit the post, Wilkinson’s missed header and Jale’s late attempt were the best of the New Zealand chances, but the Philippines also had a goal ruled out for offside when teenager Isabella Flanigan slotted into the corner in the second half.

It is a result that leaves Group A wide open and New Zealand must now target a result in their final match against Switzerland to progress to the knockout stages for the first time.

“Five days ago we were celebrating and were so excited. Today we didn’t get what we wanted,” said New Zealand manager Jitka Klimkova.

“We could see how much our players wanted it and were fighting for it. Our goal was to inspire our nation and it wasn’t the result we wanted, but the fight and the passion was definitely there.

“Sport can be exciting and it can be heartbreaking. I could see tears in the eyes of our players. I know how much it means for them to be here. It is heartbreaking but this is not over yet.

“I believe there will be even more desire [against Switzerland]. We know we still have a chance. This group is focused, they want it for themselves, the team and for the country. They will find a way.”

Player of the match

BoldenSarina Bolden

New Zealand

  1. Squad number16Player nameHand

  2. Squad number13Player nameStott

  3. Squad number20Player nameRiley

  4. Squad number14Player nameBowen

  5. Squad number4Player nameBott

  6. Squad number17Player nameWilkinson

  7. Squad number7Player nameRiley

  8. Squad number18Player nameJale

  9. Squad number2Player namePercival

  10. Squad number10Player nameLongo

  11. Squad number21Player nameEsson

  12. Squad number6Player nameSteinmetz

  13. Squad number11Player nameChance

  14. Squad number12Player nameHassett

Philippines

  1. Squad number7Player nameBolden

  2. Squad number1Player nameMcDaniel

  3. Squad number8Player nameEggesvik

  4. Squad number5Player nameLong

  5. Squad number13Player nameBeard

  6. Squad number17Player nameBarker

  7. Squad number20Player nameQuezada

  8. Squad number4Player nameSawicki

  9. Squad number3Player nameCowart

  10. Squad number16Player nameHarrison

  11. Squad number21Player nameGuillou

  12. Squad number6Player nameAnnis

  13. Squad number19Player nameRandle

  14. Squad number15Player nameFrilles

  15. Squad number9Player nameFlanigan

  16. Squad number12Player nameBugay

Line-ups

New Zealand

Formation 4-4-2

  • 21Esson
  • 4Bott
  • 13Stott
  • 14Bowen
  • 7Riley
  • 20RileySubstituted forChanceat 45′minutes
  • 6Steinmetz
  • 2PercivalSubstituted forJaleat 84′minutes
  • 12HassettSubstituted forLongoat 45′minutes
  • 17WilkinsonBooked at 42mins
  • 16Hand

Substitutes

  • 1Nayler
  • 3Bunge
  • 8Cleverley
  • 9Rennie
  • 10Longo
  • 11Chance
  • 15Satchell
  • 18Jale
  • 19Anton
  • 22Clegg
  • 23Leat

Philippines

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1McDaniel
  • 5Long
  • 3CowartSubstituted forBugayat 83′minutes
  • 13BeardBooked at 49mins
  • 17BarkerSubstituted forAnnisat 70′minutes
  • 20QuezadaSubstituted forRandleat 70′minutes
  • 4Sawicki
  • 8EggesvikSubstituted forFlaniganat 64′minutes
  • 16Harrison
  • 7BoldenSubstituted forFrillesat 83′minutes
  • 21Guillou

Substitutes

  • 2Cesar
  • 6Annis
  • 9Flanigan
  • 10McDaniel
  • 11Castañeda
  • 12Bugay
  • 14Abrahamsen
  • 15Frilles
  • 18Jota
  • 19Randle
  • 22Fontanilla
  • 23Bonta

Referee:
Katia Itzel García

Attendance:
32,357

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