DUNEDIN — The Philippine Women’s National Football Team suffered a 2-0 defeat against Switzerland in its first match of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the Forsyth Barr Stadium here in front of 13,711 fans on Friday.
The outcome meant that the Filipinas are currently at the bottom of Group A with zero points and a goal difference of -2, while La Nati rise to the top with 3 points and a +2 GD.
The Filipinas experienced a series of unfortunate events in the first half. In the 16th minute, Katrina Guillou thought she had given coach Alen Stajcic’s side the lead, only for her strike to be ruled out due to offside.
Then, La Nati gained the lead in fortuitous circumstances. Jessika Cowart was adjudged to have fouled Coumba Sow, which allowed her teammate Ramona Bachmann to convert the penalty in the 45th minute.
“I knew the penalty was important since it would give us the lead at halftime. But I am used to it,” said Bachmann, who plays for French powerhouse club Paris St. Germain.
In the second half, Switzerland managed to double its lead in the 64th minute when Seraina Piubel tapped the ball home after goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel’s heroic double save, giving her squad a cushion.
Sofia Harrison had a sniff at goal near the end of the match, but her attempt failed to hit the back of the net as the Filipinas ultimately fell to defeat.
“Did you see it, the offense of Cowart? Was it clear? I did not see the replay, but if it is a penalty it should be clear,” said Stajcic to a foreign scribe about the initial goal.
“But it has to be admitted that the Swiss were dominant during the last 10-minute period and when you work that hard, you create your own luck.”
The host nation, New Zealand, is in second place in Group A after beating Norway last night 1-0 thanks to Hannah Wilkinson’s 48th-minute strike at Eden Park.
The Filipinas will next face New Zealand this Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. (Manila time) at the Wellington Regional Stadium.
Philippines XI: McDaniel (GK), Cowart, Sawicki, Long ©, Bolden, Eggesvik, Beard, Harrison, Barker, Quezada, Guillou.
Switzerland XI: Thalmann (GK), Stierli, Maritz, Reuteler, Crnogorcevic, Bachmann, Sow, Waelti ©, Buehler, Piubel, Aigobun.