AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Sara Eggesvik let her emotions come out before a throng of reporters from different continents after playing a very critical role in the Philippines’ breakthrough win over New Zealand.
“So many emotions are going through my head,” a tearful Eggesvik said following the landmark match where she set up the eventual game-winning header of striker Sarina Bolden in Wellington.
Eggesvik is entitled to react whatever way she can, as the win confirmed that the Filipinas, after laboring long and hard to get here, proved that they are no pushovers in this surprise-filled World Cup.
Former youth star
“I’m really proud of the journey we had, to prepare ourselves for the World Cup. We faced really good teams and worked hard in training camp. But we still have a lot of effort and we kept fighting.
“And suddenly we’re here. I can’t believe what we have achieved,” said the industrious midfielder, whose role will be key Sunday when the Filipinas go for an unlikely round-of-16 berth against Norway at Eden Park here.
And that is a game that could carry enormous weight for Eggesvik, who was born in Norway to a Norwegian father and a Filipino mother from Davao.
Eggesvik played for Norway’s youth teams before making her Filipinas debut in mid-2022 where she excelled in the middle for coach Alen Stajcic.
Amid the significance of the game, Eggesvik wants to be laser-sharp in wanting to see the Filipinas get another history-achieving result.
“It’s special since we will play Norway,” Eggesvik said. “But once the game starts, I have to put that aside because I’m playing for the Philippines. I’m hoping to do my best to help the team put some points.”
Eggesvik provided the assist from the side of the box, placing a right-footed pass for Bolden’s 24th-minute score that sent a lot of Filipino fans who were at Wellington Regional Stadium and countless more in the Philippines in bonkers.
The link-up also happened in a friendly defeat to the Kiwis in September, when Bolden scored a stunning opener off Eggesvik’s assist before halftime in California.
“Sara really had a really good game and she’s one our key players,” Bolden said. “I was talking to her on the field, like we need to get the ball in and cross it wide. She did a great job putting that ball in, she has [done] it a number of times and I find the end of it. She’s been a good player for us.”
Eggesvik and the Filipinas are hoping to do that once more in perhaps the country’s biggest football game at this point.
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