Caicedo leads Colombia; Philippines make history

Sports Desk, Jul 25 (EFE).- Colombia’s Linda Caicedo shined in her Women’s World Cup debut, scoring in a 2-0 win over South Korea, while the Philippines surprised co-hosts New Zealand 1-0 to post their first-ever World Cup victory.

After missing the 2019 tournament in France, the Colombians came into their World Cup 2023 opener in Sydney determined to start on the right foot.

The Koreans created the first opportunities, but Colombian went ahead in the 30th minute as Catalina Usme converted from the spot after a hand ball by Shim Seo-yeon.

Nine minutes later, 18-year-old cancer survivor Caicedo doubled the advantage, beating two defenders before getting off a shot that was too much for Korean goalkeeper Yoon Young-geul to handle.

Caicedo, the rising star of women’s football, was a step ahead of the South Korean defenders throughout the contest.

The triumph brings Colombia level on points with Germany, but the European side lead Group H by virtue of goal difference after pummeling Morocco 6-0 in their opener.

New Zealand, whose 1-0 result against Norway last week was their maiden World Cup win, hoped to build on that momentum in the clash with the Philippines in Wellington.

The home team had 69 percent possession and a 16-4 edge in shots, but had no answer for Sarina Bolden’s goal in the 24th minute off a set-piece.

New Zealand’s Jacqui Hand put the ball in the net in the 70th minute only for the goal to be disallowed due to an offside infraction.

The defeat leaves New Zealand second in Group A with 3 points, 1 behind Switzerland, who played a scoreless draw with Norway after beating the Philippines in the opener.

With just 1 point from two games, the Norwegians must defeat Philippines in the final group stage match to have any chance of advancing. EFE lgv/dr

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