Women’s World Cup: Hosts New Zealand fall to Philippines

Hosts New Zealand were humbled by the Philippines in their opening group game at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023.

The Kiwis fell 0-1 to the Philippines in their second Group A match on Friday at Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.

The Kiwis, ranked 26th in the FIFA rankings, were coming off their first-ever World Cup victory over Norway in their opening match on Tuesday, but were stunned by the underdog Philippines.

The Philippines, ranked 46th in the FIFA World Cup standings and making their first-ever appearance at the tournament, dropped a 2-0 decision to Switzerland (20th) in their first match, but kept their hopes of reaching the round of 16 alive with a win over the hosts in their second match.

The Philippines opened the scoring in the 24th minute when a cross from the right flank was met with a pinpoint header by Surina Bolden, who rushed into the box.

Holding on to their lead, the Philippines earned their first win in two games and three points in the World Cup knockout stage.

The Kiwis were plagued by a lack of finishing after dominating possession throughout the match.

They dominated possession (15-4), shots on goal (5-2), and earned seven corner kicks while conceding none to their opponents, but were unable to capitalize on their set piece opportunities.

Most of the shots on goal hit the ground in front of the keeper, including Jackie Hand’s crunching right-footed shot from the penalty area in front of the goal on a counterattack opportunity in the 19th minute.

In the other Group A match at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, FIFA’s 12th-ranked Norway and Switzerland played to a 0-0 draw.

Norway, winners of the 1995 tournament in Sweden, despite having goalkeeper Ada Hegerberg, the inaugural 2018 Women’s Ballon d’Or winner, were stunned by New Zealand in their first match and failed to add to their victory over Switzerland in the second, putting a red light on their progression to the round of 16.

Norway have been regulars at every Women’s World Cup from the inaugural tournament in 1991 to this one, with 2011 being the only time they’ve packed it in at the group stage.

They are a powerhouse of women’s soccer, having reached the quarterfinals four times and the semifinals six times.

Eight years after reaching the round of 16 in 2015, their first World Cup appearance, Switzerland need only draw against the Philippines in their next match to fulfill their first objective.

Norway struggled to find the back of the net on the day, with all four of their shots on target saved by the goalkeeper.

In the 24th minute, a cross from the right flank was headed home by Sophie Heu in the box, only to be denied by a super save from the goalkeeper, and 10 minutes into the second half, Heu’s right-footed shot from the penalty area was thrown away by the goalkeeper.

With rain in the background, Switzerland, who dominated the left flank, and Norway, who tried to break down the right flank, were evenly matched in terms of ball possession, 43% to 42% (15% contested).

However, neither country was able to find the final goal.

With one more point on the day, Switzerland sits atop Group A with four points.

New Zealand and the Philippines are tied for second and third with three points, but on goal difference.

Norway, which hasn’t added a single point in two games, is last in Group A with one point.

The final Group A matches between Norway and the Philippines and Switzerland and New Zealand will take place on March 30. 파워볼사이트

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