FIFA World Cup

Herstory made: Filipinos online erupt with euphoria over epic FIFA World Cup win

Ivy Pedida

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Herstory made: Filipinos online erupt with euphoria  over epic FIFA World Cup win
(1st UPDATE) Online users laud the performance of the Philippine women's football team and celebrate the might and wonder of the Filipina athlete

MANILA, Philippines – At the 24th minute of the game between New Zealand and the Philippines, time stood still.

Filipinos, in bated breath, watched as striker Sarina Bolden delivered the country’s first goal in the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday, July 25. The match ended with a stunning 1-0 victory in their Group A clash.

Of course, it had to be Bolden who led the charge against New Zealand. When the women’s football team lost against South Korea at the AFC Women’s Asia Cup back in 2022, the striker made a bold promise.

“Philippines, you’re gonna remember this team and you’re gonna see us in the World Cup. So don’t forget about us, cause we’re coming back,” she said.

Bolden manifested, and then she delivered.

Despite the earlier loss the Philippines suffered against Switzerland in the tournament, this new victory has not only hyped the team, but also Filipinos and their avid supporters.

Online users lauded the team’s performance and celebrated the might and wonder of the Filipina athlete. #LabanFilipinas and #FIFAWWC topped the Twitter Philippine trends as of 4:51 pm.

Olivia McDaniel, the team’s goalie, also trended alongside Sarina Bolden because of her spectacular defense.

Abante babae!

Former vice president Leni Robredo joined the nation in congratulating the team. “Maraming salamat for this historic win, Filipinas! Mabuhay kayo,” she said in a tweet.

Couple Judy Ann Santos and husband Ryan Agoncillo showed their support on ground, watching the match live at the Wellington Regional Stadium.

Cartoonist Zach joined the celebration by posting a piece recreating Bolden’s iconic goal. “An iconic header. First ever goal. First ever win,” he said.

Twitter user @dumidyeypee noted how both Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and the Filipinas achieved their respective wins on such close dates.

Other users also pointed out it all happened right after a State of the Nation Address in the Philippines.

Former Rappler sports reporter Bee Go pointed out that despite football not being popular in the country, there is still a solid presence of support online.

Some users expressed how proud they are that the Philippine’s first FIFA win was delivered by women. “The first ever goal in Philippine football history in FIFA World Cup is a woman and a Filipina,” @almy2002 said in a tweet.

WOMEN 🥰🇵🇭. @lakwatsarah can’t help but gush over the achievements done by Filipinas.

Netizens also posted videos of how the crowd reacted after Bolden made the goal for the Philippines. A watch party in Makati had people jumping and screaming out of joy.

Football fans in New Zealand celebrated as the Filipinas recorded their first win in the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

Get in there, mga bayaw at hipag ng bayan. Fans from the Ultras Filipinas share a hug after the match.

A much needed support

The Filipinas victory, for some netizens, also puts the spotlight the government’s lack of support for the country’s sports programs and its athletes.

“The win by the Filipinas was covered all over the world by the biggest news and sports orgs. How I wish our government sees this. The value of sports is unquantifiable,” former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala lamented.

“Our Filipinas really deserved this more than our country did. I hope football gets taken seriously as all other sports here,” @yawjun said.

@lonelyvitto on the other hand, reminds fellow users to go beyond pitting sports against each other. “When you start doing a basketball versus football thing in response to the Filipinas win, you’re actually going against the culture, not the private and government entities. You gotta then ask, what is sports for.”

As President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. marked his first year in office, the relationship between the government and country’s athletes remains rife with controversies.

Nevertheless, Marcos congratulated the Filipinas a day after their historic win.

Despite the longtime issue of the government’s lack of much needed support for national athletes, fans remain hopeful that this win will only lead to the eventual growth of the football community in the country. “Many Filipino kids will now be aware of this sport. Thank you, Filipinas!” @SeniorKaloy said.


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Ivy Pedida

Ivy Pedida is a digital communications specialist for Rappler’s Digital Communications arm. A shameless bandwagoner, she likes everything pop culture, whether it be the latest anime or another HBO hit. She is a furmom to five cats and one dog.