FIFA World Cup

Filipinas end historic World Cup run after Norway hammering

Reuters, Juro Morilla

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Filipinas end historic World Cup run after Norway hammering

DO-OR-DIE. Norway's Thea Bjelde in action with Philippines' Katrina Guillou.

David Rowland/REUTERS

(2nd UPDATE) The Philippine women’s football team wraps up its historic FIFA World Cup campaign as former champion Norway unleashes a scoring barrage

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – The Philippine women’s football team just couldn’t match the scoring prowess of former champion Norway.

In a match where virtually everything went the Norwegians’ way, the Filipinas absorbed a 6-0 hammering to end their historic campaign in the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday, July 30, at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Philippines headed into the match hoping to crash the last 16 with an upset win over Norway, the 1995 World Cup champion who had struggled early in the tournament.

And the Filipinas – the first Philippine football team, male or female, to reach the World Cup – had the right to aim for the improbable following a thrilling 1-0 triumph over New Zealand off a Sarina Bolden header just five days ago.

But Norway got off to an early scoring barrage, putting a turbulent two weeks behind them and squeaked into the knockout stages as Sophie Roman Haug led the charge with a hat-trick.

“We felt it was us against the world today and we performed from the very start, delivering when we really had to,” said Norway coach Hege Riise. “This was the best response we could have given the Norwegian people and ourselves.”

Winger Caroline Graham Hansen and Guro Reiten also scored to help the world No. 12 Norwegians finish in second place in Group A above co-host New Zealand with their first win of the tournament.

The Philippines, who finished bottom of the group despite their first World Cup triumph over New Zealand, ended the match with 10 players after defender Sofia Harrison was shown a red card in the 67th minute for a foul on Thea Bjelde.

With their tournament on the line, Norway looked like it meant business from the start.

They opened the scoring in the sixth minute when right back Bjelde lofted the ball up to Roman Haug, who finished from a tight angle with a sensational volley.

Roman Haug made it two in the 17th minute when she powered a perfectly placed header in off a deep pass from midfielder Vilde Boe Risa.

Graham Hansen sent one past a diving Philippines goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel from outside the box in the 31st minute, justifying her place in the starting team after being controversially benched for Norway’s previous match.

Things went from bad to worse for the Philippines when fullback Alicia Barker put the ball into her own net three minutes into the second half and Reiten converted a penalty five minutes later.

“We really released the pressure valve early and allowed them to sort of be even a little bit more creative as the game went on,” said Philippines coach Alen Stajcic.

“I’m proud of the heart and spirit of our team. They fought to the end, they fought to the death.”

Roman Haug got her third with a well-placed header in second-half stoppage time off an assist from Reiten.

“Leading 3-0 at halftime allowed us let our shoulders down and enjoy the second half, which is not something you can do very often in a World Cup match,” said Graham Hansen. “We put everything else aside. This was a team victory today and shows we’re a united team.”

Norway finished second in Group A behind Switzerland, who held New Zealand to a scoreless draw in Sunday’s other match. They will play either Spain or Japan in last 16.  

Lineup shuffle

Filipinas head coach Alen Stajcic shuffled his starting lineup for the first time in this tournament as he inserted Isabella Flanigan for Sofia Harrison and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation, signaling his intent to attack Norway early on.

Swapping a forward in Flanigan for a defender in Harrison, though, backfired for Stajcic early in the match as the goal-hungry Norwegians asserted their dominance and notched two quick-fire goals.

Roman Haug tried to complete her hat-trick in the 24th minute, but McDaniel was able to catch the ball and prevent another goal from Norway.

After Hansen’s goal at the 31’ mark, Beard fired a left-footed shot outside the box in an attempt to cut the deficit, however, her shot was safely collected by Aurora Mikalsen, Norway’s goalie.

Norway dominated the possession in the first half at 64%, while the Philippines only had 23%.

Four minutes after conceding the fifth goal, Stajcic decided to insert Dominique Randle and Harrison for Barker and Flanigan respectively to tighten the backline. 

It was a quick appearance for Harrison as the referee gave her a straight red at the 67th minute after a tackle on a Norway player.

Now down a player, the Philippines weren’t able to get a consolation goal as Norway’s defense stood tall and held the upset-seeking Filipinas scoreless. –

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HIGHLIGHTS: Philippines vs Norway – FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

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