The Philippines claimed a historic first World Cup win on Tuesday as they stunned co-hosts New Zealand 1-0 thanks to a first-half Sarina Bolden header. New Zealand created a string of second-half chances and had a goal disallowed but the Philippines held on for a famous win in front of 32,357 in Wellington. It was the Philippines’ first victory at either a men’s or women’s World Cup and blows Group A wide open. “I can’t believe what we have achieved,” said tearful midfielder Sara Eggesvik. “It shows that it’s possible to do something big.”
New Zealand’s final group match is against Switzerland on Sunday, the same day the Philippines face Norway
“It’s so heartbreaking for everyone in this team,” said New Zealand’s Czech coach Jitka Klimkova.
“We played to win and it didn’t go our way. We were fighting until the end, but it wasn’t enough.”
On the eve of the game in Wellington, Philippines coach Alen Stajcic had said they wanted to “crash the party” against a New Zealand side on a high after their opening 1-0 win over Norway
His unfancied team, beaten 2-0 by Switzerland on their World Cup debut, were as good as their word.
They scored the only goal after 24 minutes to stun the home crowd.
After New Zealand conceded a free-kick, Bolden out-jumped the home defence to head the ball at home goalkeeper Victoria Esson, who could only watch in horror as her attempted parry looped over her into the net.
This was a better display from the Philippines — ranked 46th in the world, 20 places below New Zealand — compared to their opening defeat to Switzerland.
In contrast, New Zealand showed little of the self-confidence which carried them past Norway for their first World Cup win at the 16th try.
It could have been 2-0 at the break had Philippines forward Katrina Guillou got her shot on target just before the half-time whistle.
Klimkova threw on Celtic midfielder Olivia Chance and veteran Annalie Longo as the Football Ferns created a number of second-half chances.
Hannah Wilkinson went agonisingly close to equalising but her header flew just over the bar.
Her forward partner Jacqui Hand clattered her shot against the post, then had a headed goal disallowed with 20 minutes left after replays showed the ball went out of play in the build-up.
With time running out, New Zealand pushed hard for an equaliser, but failed to find their way past the resolute Philippine defence.