Undeterred despite their preliminary defeat against the Swiss, the Philippine Women’s Football Team clung to a 1-0 victory against the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts, New Zealand, at the Wellington Regional Stadium. Fil-Am Serena Bolden found the back of the net in the 24th minute, succeeding a cross by midfielder Sara Eggesvik en route to the country’s first victory in the tournament’s history.
Midway through the first half, Eggesvik’s near-halfway-line free-kick found the head of a Kiwi defender, resulting in an unsuccessful clearance. New Zealand midfielder Betsy Hassett attempted to draw the ball away from the penalty area, where she would lose possession to the Norwegian-Filipino (Eggesvik), resulting in a cross-header conversion by Bolden.
On paper, the 26th-ranked New Zealand squad outlasted the Filipina roster, obtaining the upper hand in total shots, possession, passing accuracy, and corners, as the Philippines’ defensive line merited the country’s first clean sheet of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The 67th minute saw a through ball from American-Kiwi defender Ali Riley, with New Zealand forward Hannah Wilkinson striking from just outside the goal box, temporarily bringing the contest to a stalemate. With the home favorites rejoicing after the top-right corner goal, a video assistant referee review spoiled the festivities, overturning the sequence.
As hopeful entrants to the round of 16, the Philippines face Group A favorites on Sunday, July 30, 2023, with a win against 12th-ranked Norway and the outcome of Switzerland-New Zealand posing as the final requirements to continue their Cinderella World Cup bid.