The Philippine Women’s National Football Team, better known as the Filipinas, was unable to beat New Zealand in their friendly match this morning. Known as the Football Ferns, the World Cup co-hosts won from two goals in the second half, ending the game with a score of 2-1.
As the 22nd team in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, New Zealand was favored to win today. Coach Alen Stajcic also acknowledged that their team would be a tough opponent to face. But the Filipinas, ranked 53rd in the world, still pushed hard with a goal from Sarina Bolden and the team’s solid defense.
Despite the loss, the Filipinas were still able to challenge New Zealand throughout the game.
Clutch first-half ending
The first half saw many potential opportunities on both sides of the field. Three minutes into the game, New Zealand player Paige Satchell blasted one just over the crossbar. Likewise, Filipina midfielder Jessica Miclat missed a chance to score after dispossessing Betsy Hassett.
Both the Philippines and New Zealand created their own chances to score within the first 45-minutes.
But, it was only within the first minute of stoppage time that the first goal landed. Sara Eggesvik won the ball over from the Football Ferns and immediately made a long pass high up to the field. The ball landed right in front of Sarina Bolden, who lobbed it over the goalkeeper.
Scoring late in the first half, the Filipinas walked off the field into halftime with the advantage.
The turn of events
New Zealand stepped back onto the field pressing hard in hopes of bringing the game back to level. Within the first few minutes of the second half, the Filipinas spent some time in dangerous territory, having to fend off the Football Fern’s attempts to create an opportunity.
The Filipinas were able to defend well, denying multiple shots. In the 65th minute, Olivia McDaniel pushed out a shot by CJ Bott just over the goal, keeping the Ferns from scoring.
However, after a foul by Dominique Randle two minutes later, New Zealand was able to tie the game with a penalty shot by Meikayla Moore.
Following the momentum of their game-tying goal, New Zealand was eventually able to take the lead of the game with a goal by Ali Riley.
With not much time left to play, the Filipinas went continued pushing to create an opportunity. The team nearly tied the game again in the last few minutes but failed to translate a header that hit the crossbar. The final whistle blew with a score of 2-1 in favor of New Zealand.
Despite the loss, the Filipinas held their own against one of, if not their toughest opponent of the year. Throughout the game, not only did they deny clear shots, but they also prevented the Football Ferns from creating opportunities.
As they continue their path towards the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the team can definitely pocket this friendly as part of their learning curve and as an opportunity to gauge where they stand against some of the strongest nations in the world.