Filipinas fall short to Switzerland in FIFA WWC debut

Lia Walti did a good job in containing Sarina Bolden's offensive game. Mia Montayre/PFF
By Ivan Saldajeno

MARIKINA--The Philippines' first-ever FIFA World Cup match ended in defeat as the country's women's football team bowed to Switzerland, 2-0, on Day 2 of the FIFA Women's World Cup on Friday at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand.

However, the Filipinas made their Swiss opponents bleed to get all three points as their defense led by captain Hali Long and keeper Olivia McDaniel put up a superb effort to at least limit the scoring.

Both of Switzerland's goals came from breaks of the game despite the Filipinas' tough backline.

Ramona Bachmann struck a penalty kick in the 45th minute to put the Swiss team ahead after a video assistant referee review caught Jessika Cowart fouling Coumba Sow inside the box during a loose ball scramble.

Seraina Piubel virtually iced the match for Switzerland in the 64th minute after slotting the ball in on the team's third try following two close-range saves from McDaniel.

The Filipinas could have struck first, but Katrina Guillou's 15th minute shot was declared offside.

Switzerland moved up to first place in Group A on goal difference against co-host New Zealand, which stunned Norway, 1-0, in the tournament opener on Thursday.

The defeat, on the other hand, makes the Filipinas' showdown against New Zealand on Tuesday in Wellington a must-win to keep their hopes of advancing to the knockout stages alive.

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