'World Cup win justifies investment in Philippine women's football'

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
'World Cup win justifies investment in Philippine women's football'
Camille Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines — There can only be good results when there is good investment in sports, and it rang true for the Philippine women’s national football team in their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Against co-hosts New Zealand, the Filipinas “crashed the party” at Wellington with an emphatic 1-0 win that left the Group A standings wide open with one match day left for their teams.

In recent years, the Filipinas have enjoyed a meteoric rise — backed by supporters left and right.

Filipinas veteran Camille Rodriguez, who hosted and cheered for her teammates half a world away at a Quezon City watch party, underscored the role of getting that support in reaching their levels now.

“I just want to say we were right — we were right all along, and I hope we get to keep proving you right to invest in women’s football,” Rodriguez said.

She was visibly emotional after the final whistle rang out and the Filipinas were indeed declared the winners of the Group A match Tuesday afternoon.

Having been part of the build-up for the Filipinas to reach the pinnacle of women’s football, the former Ateneo standout stressed that Filipinos shouldn’t be satisfied with just one appearance.

Rather, even as investments have now paid dividends, there are more summits to climb and goals to aspire for.

With consistent help and support, the Filipinas can keep pressing on.

“Because what we’ve seen here today is historic but it’s also just a sneak peek of what more we could do for Philippine sports,” she said.

“With the right investment, and right partners with us, we can take the Filipinas to the next World Cup, and the next, again and again, and keep pushing ourselves because that’s what sports is about,” she added.

The Filipinas head into their final group phase match against Norway on Sunday, July 30, with the door wide open for the Final 16.

Currently, the Nationals are running third in the group with three points. Switzerland tops Group A with four points while New Zealand is second with three points but superior goal difference.

Norway, the highest ranked team in the group, is last with just one point after two matches.

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