The Philippines held its breath as forward Sarina Bolden fired the country’s first-ever goal against New Zealand in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday, July 25, ultimately giving the debutant its maiden win before the 32,357 roaring fans at the Wellington Regional Stadium.
It came from an Angela Beard free kick into the box before Sara Eggesvik safely crossed the ball to Bolden, who then managed to get past through a crowd of players with a header for the Philippines’ historic first goal in the 24th minute of the match that wasn’t looking in favor of them in the beginning.
Before the Filipinas completed the lone goal of the match, the Ferns were dominating the possession with much aggression for the ball in the first 20 minutes of the game.
And it was Bolden’s defining moment that made the sudden difference, and from then on weathered the relentless attacks from the host nation especially in the second half.
Interestingly, like it was always meant to be, Bolden was the one who previously gave the Philippines a 1-nil halftime lead over New Zealand from a similar Eggesvik cross in their first encounter in a friendly match in September last year.
The Ferns, though, came through with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory.
This time, New Zealand’s tireless attempts to find the back of the net and past Olivia McDaniel completely went for naught.
In the 57th minute, Hannah Wilkinson, New Zealand’s hero in its stunning win over Group A top seed Norway, headed the ball barely over the bar.
The Ferns continued to come around with near chances including a Jacqui Hand attempt in the 64th minute that just went wide to the left.
Three minutes later, Hand found an equalizer off Wilkinson’s pass, but the goal was disallowed after a quick review from the referees and was ruled offside.
McDaniel through and through kept a clean sheet until the final whistle.