Philippines on Tuesday gave a devastating shocker to hosts Football Ferns of New Zealand with a lone goal victory at the Wellington Regional Stadium throwing the Group A games open.
Foreign player in New Zealand plying her trade with Western Sydney Wanderers, Sarina Bolden caused critical football injury to New Zealand scoring from a set piece kick from Sara Eggesvik in the 24th minute. It is the first ever goal at a women’s world cup final tournament for the Philippines.
Coach Alen Stajcic strategy gave Philippines the fillip to victory with a 3-5-2 strategy that blocked the midfield moves of the New Zealanders but the New Zealand common strategy of 4-4-2 did not help despite their several forays at goal.
The stadium erupted in loud decibel of noise when Jacqui Hand towering header went into the net for an equalizer but VAR ruled it offside in the 70th minute. It caused the New Zealanders clinical pains.
It was wild jubilation for Philippines who gleefully celebrated a first ever win but a downcast for New Zealand who had shocked Norway with a lone goal win in the opener and the result obtained here throws group A open now.
New Zealand had shocked Norway in the first group match 1-0 at Eden Park on the 20th July while Switzerland banged Philippines 2-0 on 21st July at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
We now await the result of the other group match between Switzerland and Norway to determine the structure of the Group A table after two games each. That match is fixed for 0900 hours of Tuesday.
New Zealand and Philippines met once on 7th September 2022 and New Zealand won 2-1.
New Zealand known as Football Ferns was there in 1991; 2007; 2011; 2015 and the last tournament in 2019 but made zero impact losing all at group stages.
Philippine are debutantes at this tournament appearing for the first time.
The last group games will be played simultaneously on 30th July between Switzerland and New Zealand at Forsyth Barr Stadium and between Norway and Philippines at Eden Park.
On Wednesday, 26th July Japan will meet Costa Rica in a group C second round match at 6000 hours at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Sane day at 0830 hours it will be the turn of Spain and Zambia also in the second round matches of Group C. Canada will slug it out with Ireland at 1300 hours at the NIB stadium in a group B second round match where Nigeria is to earn her first win.
Eniola Olatunji reporting for Patmos Media Line.