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Sarina Bolden hopes no changes are made to Filipinas program

AUCKLAND — Sarina Bolden was in a reflective mood after the Philippine Women’s National Football Team’s run in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup ended with a 6-0 defeat to Norway at the Eden Park stadium here.

Bolden and the rest of the Filipinas had hoped to make it at least to the round of 16, but it just was not meant to be. The Norwegians, who are ranked 12th in the world, proved to be too good and essentially secured their qualification by the end of the first half.

“Yeah, I mean, coming into this tournament, our goal was definitely to get out of the knockout stage, get into the knockout stage, and unfortunately we weren’t able to kind of meet that goal. It hurts. But we have so much to still be proud of. And we have a lot of takeaways, though,” said Bolden.

“We have a lot of learning and growing from it, no matter what the result was tonight. Norway was a strong, strong opponent. And we realized that. We knew that coming in. But still very proud of what we were able to put out and show to the world.”

Competing in a World Cup was a pipe dream for the Philippines. It is not a football-loving country, and the sport remains a niche market for the general populace.

Despite everything, though, it has managed not only to make it to this World Cup but also to win a game at the expense of co-hosts New Zealand, no less.

Now the question is how to ensure that the Filipinas make it to the next World Cup and the ones after that? This should not be a flash in the pan moment, as making it this far should be a precursor for greater things.

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2023-FIFA-WWC-PHI-vs-NZL-Bolden-celebration Sarina Bolden hopes no changes are made to Filipinas program Filipinas Football News  - philippine sports news“I’m ready for the next World Cup. I’m hoping that we are able to qualify, and we just continue to do what we are doing. Don’t change up things too much and continue to learn and go and trust in the process,” said Bolden.

“Four years is a long time from now, but you know the process starts now and how can we get better? How can we grow from this, learn from this? I have no doubt in my mind we’ll be able to be a better team for it.”

Bolden now has 22 goals in 37 international appearances for the Philippines. Her latest goal came against New Zealand — a 24th-minute header off a Sara Eggesvik cross which won the match 1-0 and gave the Filipinas hope of advancing from Group A.

While that did not pan out, her celebration along with her teammates made headlines around the world. The images of that moment went viral on social media, and they will never be forgotten by Filipino sports fans.

Despite creating such a historic moment, she refuses to rest on her laurels and targets more success in the future while wearing the Filipinas shirt.

“I mean, it’s been a long journey so far. I don’t know if I’d ever imagine being here and being at the World Cup and making it this far. Winning a game and scoring the winning goal, I don’t think I ever expected all of that, but I’m just so happy that I trusted in the process,” said Bolden.

“I’m going to continue to stay with this team no matter what. Until my legs stop working. So I’m in it for the long run, and this is just the beginning for me.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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