You only get one debut. This is how the Philippines performed at their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance.
The Philippine flag made its first-ever appearance in a football World Cup today — a historic moment that Filipinos will be hard-pressed to forget.
The Philippine Women’s National Football Team (AKA the Filipinas) took on their debut match in the 2023 Women’s World Cup earlier today, facing World No. 20 Switzerland in the group stage of the tournament.
Although Switzerland dominated possession of the game, the Filipinas still put on an impressive performance, especially in the first half, as their tight defense kept the Swiss at bay. However, despite their efforts, the World No. 20 team came out on top, taking a 2-0 victory over the debutants.
Here’s how it all went down.
Fight for the lead
Both sides spent the opening minutes of the first half fighting for possession, but early on, Switzerland dominated the ball, already creating chances to score by the fifth minute.
The Philippines, however, also found an early attempt to take the lead in the 16th minute, as Katrina Guillou hit the back of the net off a long pass from behind — what could have been the Filipinas’ first-ever World Cup goal. However, it was ruled offside, and the scoreline returned to 0-0.
The hunt for the opening goal stretched on, with the Swiss taking most of the chances and keeping 75% of possession. In the 36th minute, Ana-Maria Crnogorčević took a promising shot that flew just above the crossbar, still keeping the match scoreless.
Approaching the final minutes of the half, Switzerland’s Coumba Sow took a kick from Jessica Cowart, granting the Swiss side a penalty after a VAR review. Olivia McDaniel was unable to save Ramona Bachmann’s sharp finish on the penalty shot, and Switzerland took a 1-0 lead to close the first.
The Philippines concluded their first 45 minutes in the World Cup with two shots on goal to Switzerland’s nine.
A mountain to climb
The Swiss hit the ground running coming back to the pitch for the second half of the game, looking even stronger on the attack. It was clear that they were looking for a chance to pad their 1-0 lead over the Philippines.
The Filipinas struggled to regain possession from the girls in white.
In the 63rd minute, the Swiss found their opening, but Olivia McDaniel would not make it easy for them. After a double save from the Filipina goalkeeper, it was Seraina Piubel who brought their lead to 2-0 on their third shot attempt.
With a wider lead, the remaining minutes saw a more relaxed Switzerland side, as they maintained possession and kept the Filipinas at bay. The Philippines made several attempts to create chances through plays from the back, however, they were unable to connect all the dots to come up with a solid attempt.
After four minutes of extra time added, the whistle blew to grant Switzerland the 2-0 victory.
Despite the loss, the Filipinas still put on an impressive display for their debut World Cup match, taking on experienced football players who play in major clubs in Spain’s Liga F and the Women’s Super League in England and putting them to work.
The Filipinas’ next match will take place on July 25 at 1:30 PM, where they will be facing the tournament co-hosts, New Zealand.
Banner image from FIFA Women’s World Cup on Twitter.