- SOCCER WORLD CUP
Philippines Shocks Co-Host New Zealand 1-0 for Its First Win at the Women’s World Cup
17:01 JST, July 25, 2023
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — With its first goal at its first Women’s World Cup the unfavored Philippines achieved its first win Tuesday, shocking host New Zealand 1-0 in a Group A match made contentious when a potential equalizer was disallowed.
New Zealand achieved its first World Cup win when it upset favored Norway in the opening match of the tournament five days ago. For the first time in six World Cups, the Football Ferns went into a match as favorite, almost certain with another win to become the first team to reach the round of 16.
But Sarina Bolden scored the Philippines’ historic match-winner from its first shot on goal in the 24th minute, flipping the script and silencing a packed stadium of 33,000 mostly newly-minted Kiwi soccer fans.
New Zealand had been ascendant in the first 20 minutes, playing with a confidence which reflected its expectation that this would be its best shot at winning in the group stage. It had 80% of possession, 74 completed passes to 11, five early shots on goal and it seemed inevitable the goals would come which would carry into the next round for the first time.
New Zealand keeper Vic Esson had nothing to do until the 20th minute when she had to come forward to punch away a threatening free kick. Suddenly there was panic, even disarray in the New Zealand defense.
Four minutes later and from another free kick which caused chaos in the New Zealand goalmouth, the clearance was ineffective and Sara Eggesvik sent the ball back in for Bolden, who leapt high to head the ball home.
There was a moment of stunned silence and suddenly the Philippines supporters found full voice.
For the rest of the first half the match was more competitive as New Zealand tried to regroup and rally. It had a handful of wasted chances before halftime.
New Zealand threw everything at Philippines in the second half but to no avail. The moment of contention came in the 68th when Jacqui Hand, who had been denied by the post four minutes earlier, headed home what seemed to be the equalizing goal from Hannah Wilkinson’s cross.
The New Zealanders were in full celebration until the referee ruled that Wilkinson had been offside. The decision was close: Wilkinson’s arm and part of her shoulder were offside, but that was enough.
Wilkinson had chances in the first half and another in the second when she headed over the bar from C.J. Bott’s cross. But she wasn’t able to recapture the form she showed as New Zealand’s scorer against Norway.
Spots in the next stage will be on the line when New Zealand plays Switzerland in Dunedin and Philippines plays Norway in Auckland on Sunday.
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