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The Philippines stun co-host New Zealand 1-0 to earn first ever Women’s World Cup win

<i>Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via AP</i><br/>New Zealand shocked the soccer world by beating Norway 1-0 in its World Cup opener.
Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via AP
New Zealand shocked the soccer world by beating Norway 1-0 in its World Cup opener.

By Ben Morse, Tara Subramaniam and Mayumi Maruyama, CNN

(CNN) — The Philippines stunned New Zealand 1-0 to earn its first ever Women’s World Cup victory on Tuesday off California-born Sarina Bolden’s 24th-minute goal.

Bolden’s first-half header was the country’s first ever goal in the competition’s history.

The World Cup co-host looked to have earned itself a route back into the game midway through the second half when Jacqui Hand’s looping header floated over a despairing Olivia McDaniel in goal, but it was later ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) for offside.

The World Cup debutant was able to withstand New Zealand pressure, including a truly remarkable diving save from McDaniel in added time at the end of the game, to earn a historic victory, sparking scenes of jubilant celebrations.

“I literally can’t put it into words,” Bolden said afterwards. “This has been a dream of mine as a little kid to just be here at the World Cup, let alone even score.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, the staff, the fans, the Philippines as a whole. It’s just amazing right now to feel this win and this energy in this stadium right now, so it’s just amazing.”

In a finely-poised Group A, the Philippines – after becoming the first of the debutant teams to win at the 2023 Women’s World Cup – now has an opportunity to make yet further history by reaching the knockout phases with one group game remaining.

It is a memorable moment for the country, many of whose players are US-born and ply their trade around the world.

Chief amongst those is Bolden, who was born in Santa Clara, California, and plays for Western Sydney Wanderers in the Australian A-League.

Before joining the national team, Bolden – who qualifies to represent both the US and the Philippines – had never been to the Asian nation. Now, she’s one of the team’s most recognizable stars.

“Everyone’s really excited for what’s to come and to really shock the world,” she told CNN ahead of the Women’s World Cup.

“I know soccer isn’t the main sport in the Philippines… But I think by seeing us on the big screen, on the big stage, I think more people are going to be really interested and want to get into soccer.”

Bolden said she’s already seen awareness and interest grow in the Philippines following the team’s on-field successes and historic qualification for the World Cup.

“I think the excitement is really growing from grassroots. People are really trying to spread the word,” she said, sharing an anecdote in which her mother randomly approached a Filipino coworker to let them know that the women’s national team was playing in this year’s World Cup.

“I know people are talking, Filipino Americans especially, about how huge this is,” Bolden added. “So I can imagine the word is spreading.”

With her goal, the 27-year-old Bolden became the Philippines’ record women’s international goalscorer.

Team goalkeeper McDaniel, who provided many key saves and interventions to keep her side in the game, was also born in California and plays for Stallion Laguna back in the Philippines.

After the game, 20-year-old Philippines fan Maxine David, whose family immigrated from the Philippines to New Zealand five years ago, told CNN the win was “bittersweet.”

Speaking to CNN after the game, fellow Philippines fan Vina Lorine said: “It’s a bit of a divided feeling. We are thankful that New Zealand is our home, but by blood, we are Filipino.”

Lorine went onto say that, for the Philippines, “this is a big achievement for us.”

“We’re so happy,” she said, adding she felt “beyond words.”

Having won its opening group game last time out, New Zealand missed out on making its own slice of history by qualifying for the knockout phase for the first time.

Switzerland and Norway play out goalless draw

In Tuesday’s late game, Switzerland and Norway played out a 0-0 stalemate in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Both teams struggled to create clear cut chances, with Norway missing its talismanic striker Ada Hegerberg after she suffered a groin injury in warms ups.

The 28-year-old could be seen walking down the tunnel back to the changing rooms while her teammates were huddled in a circle shortly before the start of the match.

“I felt discomfort when sprinting right after the anthems,” Hegerberg wrote on Twitter.

“We decided with the staff that no risk should be taken and no subs should be wasted in such an important game for us, and we all trusted Sophie, Karina, and the team to do the job, which they did. We move on,” she added.

Neither side lacked for attacking endeavor, but both couldn’t find that cutting edge to make the breakthrough for the decisive goal.

The point proves an important one for Switzerland which remains atop Group A, while Norway faces a stiff task to qualify for the knockout phases with just one point after its opening two games.

In their final group games on Sunday, July 30, Switzerland faces New Zealand while Norway plays the Philippines knowing it needs a victory to have any chance of making it through to the next stage.

Colombia cruises past South Korea

In Tuesday’s first game, Colombia got its World Cup campaign off to the perfect start, beating South Korea 2-0.

A first-half penalty from Catalina Usme got the ball rolling for the South American side before 18-year-old Linda Caicedo doubled the lead.

In a stadium dominated by Colombia fans, the world No. 25 looked the strongest throughout as it claimed only its second ever World Cup victory.

For South Korea, forward Casey Phair made history by becoming the youngest ever player to appear at the World Cup – just 26 days after celebrating her 16th birthday.

The US-born teenager came on as a 78th-minute substitute in the loss in Sydney, beating the record of Nigeria’s Ifeanyi Chiejine, who was 16 years and 34 days old at the 1999 Women’s World Cup.

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