Ernesto Nodado III

Not even a slither of daylight smiled on the Filipinas on Sunday at Eden Park in Auckland as their historic FIFA World Cup campaign came to a bitter conclusion. The Pinay booters yielded to the assertive Norway in a crushing 6-0 defeat.

Photo Courtesy of One Sports

The Philippine women’s football squad went on a daze all-game long, falling prey to their foes’ commanding offense with three goals each half, while struggling to pace their own possession with 33.0%.

The world no. 46 Filipinas had to win this do-or-die match against the world no. 12 Norway, which were also the 1995 World Cup champions, to book a ticket in the round of 16.

However, they were clearly outclassed by a more experienced rival. 

The Filipinas kicked off on a jittery start with poor possessions and wretched defense, which the Norwegians pounced on with Sophia Roman Haug scoring their first goal in the sixth minute, 1-0. Haug’s header in the 17th minute further widened the gap at 2-0.

Early turmoil continued for the Filipinas with passes intercepted by Norway, while finding themselves down to a 3-0 hole with Caroline Graham Hansen’s 31st minute goal.

It seemed like luck hadn’t come for the Pinay booters at all in the second half as Alicia Barker’s block in the 48th minute on Guro Reiten costly turned into an own goal for Norway, 4-0. Four minutes later, Reiten sank a penalty kick after Jaclyn Sawicki’s defensive effort at the 52nd mark, 5-0.

From thereon, the Filipinas’ hopes to advance in the next round were completely lost as sub Sofia Harrison induced a red card in the 67th minute and Haug completed her hat-trick in the added time.

Haug and company’s dominating win earned themselves a spot for the round of 16 since their goal difference bested host nation New Zealand. 

Meanwhile, the Filipinas still etched their names in history as the first Philippine football team to make an appearance in the World Cup with a record of 1-2.

The Filipinas’ experience in the world tilt will be tested in the Asian Games next month in China. 

Edited by  Rob Andrew Dongiapon