FIFA World Cup

Filipinas fall short to Switzerland in historic World Cup debut

Juro Morilla

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Filipinas fall short to Switzerland in historic World Cup debut

DEBUT. Hali Long and the Philippine women’s football team face an aggressive Swiss side.


Even as the overwhelming underdogs, the Filipinas start brilliantly before Switzerland’s Ramona Bachmann and Seraina Piubel score a goal each to spoil the Philippines’ FIFA World Cup debut 

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s football team kicked off its historic World Cup campaign but wound up yielding to Switzerland, 2-0, on Friday, July 21, at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The loss put the 46th-ranked Filipinas –the first football team from the Philippines, male or female, to reach the sport’s biggest stage – at the bottom of Group A with 0 points as world No. 20 Switzerland shot up the table with 3 points.

Filipinas fall short to Switzerland in historic World Cup debut

New Zealand, which is co-hosting the event with Australia, also picked up 3 points after upsetting world No. 12 Norway, 1-0, in the other Group A duel on Thursday night.

Even as the overwhelming underdogs, the Filipinas started brilliantly and almost stunned the higher-ranked Switzerland at the 16th minute.

Filipinas forward Katrina Guillou rounded Swiss goalie Gaëlle Thalmann and found the back of the net, but unfortunately, her attempt was flagged offside by the assistant referee. 

The Philippines had another attempt 11 minutes later, but Hali Long’s shot did not yield a goal as the match stayed at 0-0 until Swiss forward Ramona Bachmann found the breakthrough via a penalty kick just before the halftime whistle.

Bachmann broke the deadlock at the 45th minute after she sent Philippine goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel the wrong way and calmly drilled in a penalty kick to lift her team, 1-0, just before halftime.

It was a milestone goal for Bachmann as she moved one goal ahead of Fabienne Humm to become Switzerland’s top Women’s World Cup scorer with four goals.

The Swiss found their second goal at the 64’ mark as Seraina Piubel slotted in the ball past McDaniel after the latter produced two successive saves from close range to deny the initial attempts of Piubel’s teammates. 

With her goal, Piubel, a World Cup debutant at age 23, becomes the second youngest Swiss to score at the sport’s most prestigious stage.

The first ever World Cup starting 11 for the Philippines featured 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup quarterfinals hero McDaniel at the goal, co-captain Long at the heart of the defense, and talisman Sarina Bolden in attack.

Filipinas head coach Alen Stajcic opted to use his trusted 4-4-2 formation to begin their historic campaign at the quadrennial tournament. 

Forming the backline with Long were Jessika Cowart, Sofia Harrison, and Alicia Barker, while Bolden, who has recorded 22 goals in her Filipinas career, was partnered by Guillou in a double pivot upfront.

Jaclyn Sawicki, Sara Eggesvik, Angela Beard, and Quinley Quezada formed a strong midfield for Stajcic.

At the start of the second half, Bachmann tried to grab another goal, but her right-footed attempt outside the box went over the bar as the match score stayed at 1-0 in favor of the Swiss.

Stajcic made a double change at the 70th minute after conceding the second goal as he substituted Eggesvik and Quezada off for Meryll Serrano and Isabella Flanigan, respectively.

Chandler McDaniel was brought in as well in the final 10 minutes, but the Swiss stood tall and kept their clean sheet en route to the victory.

The Philippines will aim to bounce back against New Zealand on Tuesday, July 25, 1:30pm (Philippine time) at the Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. –

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