World Cup 2023 - Group A blown wide open as Philippines record historic first win on Match Day 6
The Philippines recorded their first ever World Cup win as they beat co-hosts New Zealand in Wellington on Match Day 6.
A win for New Zealand would have been enough to qualify for the knock-out phase for the very first time, but Alen Stajcic's Philippines were equally determined to spoil the party.
Philippines' Sarena Bolden made history as she scored her nation's first ever World Cup goal on 24 minutes, sending the Asian minnows into the break with a 1-nil advantage.
New Zealand found themselves with openings in the second half as Olivia Chance found Jacqui Hand with a perfectly timed ball only for Hand’s shot to rebound back off the upright.
Despair then followed for New Zealand as Hand eventually found the net only for a VAR review to disallow the goal due to an offside in the lead up.
Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel was the hero for the Philippines in the late stages as she pulled off a brilliant injury-time save, pushing wide Grace Jale’s sliding effort.
The Philippines managed to hold on for a historic victory and keep their chances alive in Group A.
Also in Group A, Switzerland and Norway played out a scoreless draw in Hamilton.
The match didn’t start well for Norway as star Ada Hegeberg was replaced prior to kick-off, unable to take part in the match due to an injury sustained in the pre-match warm up. Despite dominating the shot-count, Norway failed to capitalise on their chances.
The result leaves all four Group A teams with a chance to progress to the knock-out stages heading into the final group fixtures. Earlier in the day, two first-half goals were enough for Colombia to kick off their World Cup campaign with a win over South Korea in Group H.
In a first ever meeting between the two sides, Colombia were in control early and they were rewarded for their territorial dominance midway through the first half when the referee awarded a penalty against Korea for a handball against defender Seo-Yeon Shim.
Colombian Striker Catalina Usme stepped up to easily beat Korean keeper, Yoon Young-geul from the penalty spot.
Just nine minutes later, Linda Caicedo’s curling effort was spilled into the net by Yoon making it 2-nil in favour of the South Americans.
Colombia will now face two-time World Cup winner Germany on Sunday. Match Day 7 will see Japan clash with Costa Rica and Spain take on Zambia as part of Group C. Wins for Japan and Spain will see them qualify for the next stage with a game to spare.
In the evening match, all eyes will be on Australia's Group B rivals Canada and Ireland as they clash in Perth