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Take a bow, Team Filipinas!

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For ending World Cup debut with gallant stand in 0-6 loss to Norway

GALLANT FIGHT. Philippines’ defender #05 Hali Long (left) and Norway’s forward #09 Karina Saevik fight for the ball during the 2023 Women’s World Cup Group A football match at Eden Park in Auckland on July 30, 2023. AFP

The Philippines encountered a Norwegian side at its absolute best, dropping a one-sided 0-6 setback on Sunday as it bid goodbye its goal of advancing in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.

The loss meant the Filipinas won’t be advancing after picking up their second loss in three matches in Group A.

But for Filipinos across the globe –from those hooked to their screens in watch parties in the Philippines and those who trooped to Eden Park – the Filipinas remain a winner after their historic performance in the World Cup.

“The World Cup campaign of our national team may have ended, but Filipinos have shown our love for our Filipinas in the past three match days. This is not the end because the sun will shine again [for our Filipinas],” the Philippine Football Federation said in a Facebook post.

“Thank you, Filipinas for the great effort on your first World Cup season! The passion and resilience you displayed on the field is truly inspiring,” the Facebook page NordicPinoy wrote.

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Photos show Filipinos at the Eden Park Stadium in New Zealand and at the Glorietta Center in Makati City cheering for the women’s national team.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup also praised the Filipinas for their gritand determination: “Take a bow for a sensational debut #FIFAWWC campaign.”

Unable to score in their first two games, the world no. 12 Norwegians finally lived up to their lofty ranking to maul the hapless Filipinas into submission and eventually secure a seat in the Last 16 knockout phase for the third straight time.

“They got some very good players. This is a classy team. They are the favorites to win the group. They showed some of their class today with their individual skills. They picked us apart in a couple of battles in the box,” said Philippine team coach Alen Stajcic.

The Philippines’ woes started when Sofia Roman Haug knocked in a hattrick to lead the Norwegian cause in the sixth and 17th minutes.

The 24-year-old Haug sent in the first one from a long volley from a tight angle, after receiving a deep cross from Thea Bjelde.

Haug, a forward playing for Italian Serie A club A.S. Roma, then found the net 11 minutes later with a high-angled header to the left of PH goalie Olivia McDaniel.

Caroline Hansen, who came in for injured star Ada Hederberg, was the next to provide Norway a third goal — a 25-meter volley sailing past McDaniel’s right, handing the Norwegians a 3-0 edge in the 31st minute.

Hansen’s goal silenced a big Filipino crowd that came to watch the Philippines in its historic match at the world stage.

The Filipinas’ anguish did not end there, as Fil-American Alicia Barker scored an own goal in the 48th minute.

Barker was making an interception play on Guro Reiten at the side of the goal mouth when she accidentally flicked in the ball towards the net, with McDaniel unable to receive the kick-in.

Reiten came back in the 53rd minute, flicking a penalty kick off Jaclyn Sawicki’s foul, giving Norway a 5-0 spread.

Also contributing to the Philippines’ problems, Sofia Harrison, whocame in for Isabella Flannigan, was ejected with a red card, 10 minutes after she came in following a tackle on Thea Bjelde in the 65th minute.

Another sixth goal could have come from Reiten, but a 10-meter long shot from the left was swatted away by McDaniel in the 83rd minute.

Haug then sank her third and final goal in the fifth of the 11 minutes of added time as Norway completed its 6-point massacre.

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