Bolden Sarina Bolden exults after scoring the winning header against New Zealand. Joining her in the celebration is teammate Sofia Harrision.

Golden Bolden as Filipinas score first win in World Cup

July 25, 2023 Theodore P. Jurado 222 views

THE Philippines’ beloved Filipinas continue to make history in women’s football.

Sarina Bolden scored a 24th minute header and goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel delivered a clean sheet for the ages as the Philippines claimed its first-ever win at a World Cup as it stunned co-hosts New Zealand, 1-0, to keep its hopes alive of getting past the group stage yesterday.

It was Sara Eggesvik who made things happen with a cross to Bolden, who headed home the first-ever goal of the Filipinas in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, leaving Football Ferns keeper Victoria Esson in disbelief.

Not only the Philippine fans, including has entertainment personalities Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo, celebrated Bolden’s goal at the Wellington Regional Stadium, but also at home, as well as those who went to the jampacked viewing party at the UP Town Center.

It was Bolden’s 22nd international goal, and it came in the world’s biggest football showpiece.

“I can’t believe what we have achieved,” said a tearful Eggesvik.

“It shows that it’s possible to do something big,” she added.

McDaniel then produced several huge saves in the second half and was able to protect a clean sheet after Jacqui Hand’s match-tying header was disallowed with 20 minutes left after a VAR review showed Hannah Wilkinson was deemed offside in the build-up.

Hand went agonizingly close to equalizing in the 64th minute flew, but her shot hit the post, giving McDaniel a sigh of relief.

“It means everything to us … We put our head down, we came in focused, we had a goal in mind and we achieved it. We couldn’t have asked for better,” said McDaniel.

Bolden credited coach Alen Stajcic for one of the greatest moments in Philippine sports.

“Alen, he’s a brilliant man,” said Bolden.

“He has given us a lot of knowledge. He has taught us a lot of things that are just so valuable that I’ll take them for the rest of my life as a footballer. I think it’s because of him, but a big majority also goes to the players for sacrificing so much, giving themselves to this, and trusting each other,” the Santa Clara, California native added.

It was the Philippines’ first victory at either a men’s or women’s World Cup and blows Group A wide open.

Switzerland moved up on top of the table following a scoreless stalemate with Norway. The Swiss improved to four points while the Gresshoppene earned their first point.

The result also meant the Football Ferns in second place despite the defeat, as they have a better goal difference against the Filipinas.

The Philippines’ final group match is against Norway on Sunday, the same day New Zealand faces Switzerland.

“We’re definitely looking on to play Norway and do our best, and I think anything can happen, and we’re looking to get a win in the next one and create more history and make it to the knockout round,” said Bolden.

The Football Ferns showed little of the self-confidence which carried them past the Gresshoppene for their opening World Cup win to end a 15-game winless streak.