Philippines bows out of Women’s World Cup as Norway advances to KO stage
AUCKLAND, New Zealand—The Philippines’ debut run in the Fifa Women’s World Cup came to an end on Sunday after Norway’s 6-0 blowout win in their final group stage match.
Sophie Roman Haug’s hat trick kick-started Norway’s dormant offense and sparked the victory that moved the Norwegians into the knockout stage of the tournament.
Norway scored early and often, netting three goals in the first 31 minutes.
“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 Caroline Graham Hansen. “We put everything else aside. This was a team victory today and shows we’re a united team.”
Norway’s spot in the round of 16 was secured when Switzerland and New Zealand simultaneously played to a 0-0 draw and the Norwegians. Norway and New Zealand were tied in Group A but Norway advanced on goal differential. New Zealand became the first host country to be eliminated in the group stage in tournament history.
Before the game, Norway had not scored in three consecutive Women’s World Cup matches dating to the quarterfinals of the 2019 tournament.
But Roman Haug one-timed a ball into the net in the sixth minute, and scored again 11 minutes later. Graham Hansen added a long-distance shot in the 31st minute.
Roman Haug completed the hat trick in injury time.
“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.”
In the second half, an Alicia Barker own goal in the 48th minute and Guro Reiten’s penalty kick in the 53rd minute extended Norway’s lead to 5-0. Filipinas defender Sofia Harrison received a red card in the 67th minute for using excessive force, and the Philippines played the rest of the match a player down.
WATCH: Festive atmosphere as Filipino fans based here in Auckland and back home march around Eden Park before the crunch Group A match between the Philippines and Norway. #FIFAWWC | @jonasterradoINQ pic.twitter.com/HDbBZhwhdr
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) July 30, 2023
Eden Park was turned into a makeshift home match for the Philippines, as the Filipina fans screamed in unison any time the Philippines touched the ball, even as the deficit grew.
The Philippines was fresh off of a historic 1-0 win over co-host New Zealand that marked the first Women’s World Cup win for the debutantes.
“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 the Norwegians off to a hot start. The first of her two goals was a left-footed volley from inside the six-yard box in the sixth minute. Eleven minutes later, Roman Haug scored a header delivered by a Vilde Boe Risa cross. Roman Haug’s header flew over the reach of Philippines goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel.
Graham Hansen scored on a long-distance strike that curled into the bottom left corner in the 31st minute to give Norway its third goal of the half.
From that point on, Norway was in control.
Riise called it a convincing performance that showed Norway “are here to participate for real”.
“Caroline as well with the team (was) performing great both on the right side as the left side today,” she told reporters. “It was relieving for all of us that we came back from a few days that (have) been hard for all of us.”
After days of obvious discord, it appeared that Graham Hansen and Riise were finally in agreement.
“It’s a great relief,” Graham Hansen said in televised remarks after the match. “We knew we had it all in our own hands and the mood in the team was great afterwards.”
WHY IT MATTERS
The win advances Norway to the knockout stage after the Norwegians found themselves in last place in Group A heading into the Philippines match.
The Norwegians had yet to score in 2023 before their six-goal eruption.
Norway will play either Japan or Spain in the round of 16 next Saturday, depending on the results of a game between those Group C teams on Monday.
The inaugural tournament run ends for the Philippines, who needed at least a draw to have a chance of moving on.