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Filipinas Historic World Cup Run Ends

Wellington, New Zealand, 25 July 2023 Copyright: xJoexSercix / IMAGO

The Filipinas’ historic run at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup came to an abrupt end after a 6-0 defeat against Norway on Sunday at the Eden Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. The team finished last in Group A of the tournament with 3 points, behind New Zealand and Norway at 4 points and Switzerland who topped the group with 5 points.

Their World Cup run was far from a disappointment however, as the squad exceeded expectations, stealing a game off of a much higher ranked team in New Zealand. This was the Philippine’s first ever appearance at a women’s football world cup event and while there is clearly some heavy improvement required before the team will be competing with the best nations in the world, they have proven that they have the fighting spirit, giving it their all until the last whistle was blown.

Norway vs Philippines- Game Summary

The Filipinas’ supporters came in full force on Sunday, making up a vast majority of the 35,000 spectators at New Zealand’s national stadium in Auckland. Back home in the Philippines, some of the country’s largest shopping malls organized massive viewing parties as well to cheer on their team despite heavy monsoon rains.

Unfortunately the heavily favored Norway team came ready to play, bagging three goals in just the first half of the match. Norwegian striker Sophie Haug scored the first goal just six minutes into the game and then followed it up with a header assisted by midfielder Vilde Risa in the 17th minute. Caroline Hansen was able to get one past the Filipinas keeper to earn Norway its third goal, 31 minutes into the first half.

Despite being down 3-0 going into the half the Filipinas came out of halftime looking to fight until the very end. Norway however were just too strong on the day, as they added a further three goals in the second half. First at 48 minutes, Filipinas’ defender Alicia Barker scored an own goal following an awkward bounce, then Norway’s midfielder Guro Reiten connected with a penalty shot at the 53 minute mark. Finally Haug capped off her big night with a hat-trick via a header in the waning minutes of the match.

It should be noted that the Filipinas’ defender Sofia Harrison was given a red card for excessive contact in a tackle against Norwegian Defender Thea Bjelde in the 67th which put the team a women down for the rest of the game.

Overall, although the scoreline may not reflect it, the Filipinas put on a good showing, competing with a much more seasoned squad in Norway and definitely proving they have the potential to make waves in the football world in the future.

New Beginning For Filipinas

A massive positive the Filipinas can take home after the World Cup is that the team clearly belongs with the best. The 1-0 win against New Zealand will go down as a landmark victory for the team in what could be a turning point for the coming years.

Another big plus that came out of the Filipinas’ campaign was the reignition of interest in football in the country. There has been a reported huge jump on internet searches for the team and their merchandise, seeing a level of popularity which has not been seen since the 2010s, when the men’s national team went on an Asian winning streak. The Men’s team however was never able to reach the World Cup, something the Women’s team should be extremely proud of.