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Philippines in historic World Cup win but Norway suffer double blow

The Philippines won a World Cup match for the first time as they stunned co-hosts New Zealand on Tuesday but former champions Norway suffered a double blow to leave their hopes in the balance.

Philippines coach Alen Stajcic said on the eve of the New Zealand match his side wanted to “crash the party”, and they did just that with a gutsy 1-0 victory in front of 32,357 fans in Wellington.

Sarina Bolden scored the only goal with a header in the first half for a famous Philippines win — the country’s first at either a men’s or women’s World Cup.

Switzerland and the 1995 champions Norway — who lost star striker Ada Hegerberg moments before kickoff with injury — then drew 0-0 in the Hamilton rain, leaving the Swiss in the driving seat in Group A.

Switzerland are top with four points, one ahead of New Zealand and debutants the Philippines. Norway have scored no goals and garnered just one point.

Switzerland just need to avoid defeat against New Zealand on Sunday to reach the last 16.

The Philippines could join them for a fairytale place in the knockout stage, but no matter what happens next up against Norway at the weekend, beating the Women’s World Cup hosts will live long in the memory.

“I can’t believe what we have achieved,” said tearful Philippines midfielder Sara Eggesvik.

In contrast, the New Zealand players were left in tears.

“It’s so heartbreaking for everyone in this team,” said their Czech coach Jitka Klimkova, whose side beat Norway 1-0 in the opening game of the tournament for a first-ever World Cup win of their own.

“We were fighting until the end, but it wasn’t enough.”

‘Another planet’

In the first game of the day, Colombia were too good for a blunt South Korea with a 2-0 victory.

Eighteen-year-old striker Linda Caicedo, who overcame cancer three years ago, was the beneficiary of a glaring goalkeeping error when Yoon Young-geul allowed the striker’s shot to squirm through her hands.

Catalina Usme had scored a penalty to put the South Americans in front on the half-hour in bright sunshine in Sydney before Caicedo got the second nine minutes later.

South Korea coach Colin Bell brought on US-born attacker Casey Phair as they chased the game in the second half. At 16 years and 26 days, she made history as the youngest Women’s World Cup player ever.

But it was all about Caicedo and one of the best young attackers in women’s football has now scored at the Under-17 World Cup, the Under-20 World Cup and on the biggest stage of all.

Assistant Angelo Marsiglia, standing in for Colombia coach Nelson Abadia — who was suspended for the game — called Caicedo “extraordinary”.

“She wants the ball, never hides, she’s from another planet, entirely unique,” he said.

Colombia move onto three points in Group H with Germany, who thrashed Morocco 6-0 on Monday. Germany and Colombia meet next.

‘Up for the challenge’

Spain, one of the favourites to topple holders the United States, headline Wednesday’s action in Australia and New Zealand.

The Spaniards were easy 3-0 winners over Costa Rica in their opener and will be looking to rack the goals up once more against Zambia.

The African side are the lowest-ranked team in the competition and were thrashed 5-0 by Japan in their opening match, but captain Barbra Banda said they were “up for the challenge” against La Roja.

“We started with a loss but that doesn’t mean that we have to look down on ourselves,” she said.

Also on Wednesday, the 2011 champions Japan play Costa Rica in the same group.

Canada clash with Ireland in the last game of the day.