Hali Long honored to be part of Filipinas’ ‘incredible ride’ in Women’s World Cup
AUCKLAND, New Zealand—An emotional Hali Long is honored to have co-captained the Philippines to an improbable journey to the Fifa Women’s World Cup which ended in a 6-0 loss to Norway on Sunday at Eden Park here.
Long couldn’t help but shed tears before and during the contest that eliminated from contention in women’s football’s biggest stage, especially during the singing of the national anthem which was seen by viewers back home,
“Even going back to the SEA Games in 2017 and 2019, me and Camrod (former teammate Camille Rodriguez) were crying every national anthem,” Long said after the match at the mixed zone area as the tears kept flowing.
🇵🇭WATCH: This crowd in Makati watches and sings the Philippine national anthem along with an emotional Hali Long seen on screen.Norway and Philippines clash right now in Group A of the Fifa Women’s World Cup. | via Melo Fuertes, Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Saturday, July 29, 2023
“So anytime Lupang Hinirang comes on, it just means so much because it’s just like you die for your countrymen. I mean, it’s eveything, it’s the pride and honor you have to represent your country everywhere on the global stage—as an underdog, as a beauty queen, as a boxer, as a weightlifter, as a futbolera.
“It’s an utmost honor to, one, bring the Lupang Hinirang here, bring the Philippine flag here for the first time [in the World Cup] and to be able to be on the pitch to do that. It’s just that definite highlight of my life,” she added.
The Filipinas exited the World Cup, but not before putting a lasting impression for the world to see.
A 2-0 loss to Switzerland to begin the tournament had some silver linings, with the Filipinas putting up a valiant effort against the European side in Dunedin.
Then came the moment to remember when Sarina Bolden’s header and key stops by Olivia McDaniel completed the Philippines’ 1-0 victory over co-host New Zealand in Wellington that put the debutants in an unlikely position to qualify for the last 16.
But hopes and dreams of pulling it off were shattered by Norway, which leaned on two of the three goals scored by Sophie Roman Haug in an absolute thrashing that gave the Philippines some reality check.
“It was an incredible ride,” Long said. “There’s so many firsts that happened here—our first goal, our first win, our first game, our first card, our first anything, it was all a first for us and you can’t take it away from us.
“I mean it takes some teams three, four, five World Cups just to win a game, let alone score a goal. I couldn’t be any more proud of the effort that we gave in this whole campaign and made our group pretty interesting. But yeah, I couldn’t be more proud of the effort we gave.”