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Philippines wins first-ever FIFA World Cup match after beating co-host New Zealand

Forward Sarina Bolden headed the winner as the Philippines spoiled co-host New Zealand’s party with a stunning 1-0 victory in their Women’s World Cup Group A clash on Tuesday.

The Philippines lost 2-0 to Switzerland in its opening match and looked to be an easy mark for the Football Ferns, who were coming off their first-ever World Cup win over former champion Norway and looking to book a spot in the last 16.

Instead, the Philippines secured its own first World Cup win to keep alive its hopes of progressing in its debut tournament.

New Zealand did not lack in effort but had seemingly lost the magic touch of its historic opener and missed a series of goalscoring opportunities.

Striker Bolden made New Zealand pay for its profligacy in the 24th minute when she got up well to fire a header directly at New Zealand keeper Victoria Esson, who fumbled it into the net to give the Philippines their first-ever World Cup goal.

Roared on by a 32,357 crowd at Wellington Regional Stadium, the Ferns dominated possession as they poured forward looking for an equaliser.

Defender Katie Bowen sent a shot wide to the left in the 38th minute and co-captain Ria Percival’s shot rolled straight at the Philippines keeper Olivia McDaniel in first-half stoppage time.

In the 58th minute, defender C.J. Bott looped a cross into the box but Hannah Wilkinson, the hero of New Zealand’s opening win on Thursday, sent her header over the bar.

Ten minutes later, Wilkinson did well to drag the ball back from the byline and crossed for forward Jacqui Hand to head it into the net, only for the referee to call it back for offside.

In a frenetic finish, Philippines striker Carleigh Frilles also got the ball into the net from an offside position and New Zealand’s Grace Jale was foiled from close range by a fine McDaniel save.

The Philippines closes out its Group A fixtures against 1995 winner Norway on Sunday, while New Zealand faces Switzerland.

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