New Zealand coach Jitka Klimkova said her players were in tears after the Women’s World Cup co-host suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to debutant the Philippines on Tuesday.
Sarina Bolden scored the only goal in Wellington to bring New Zealand crashing back down to earth after its 1-0 win in the opening match of the tournament.
It was the Philippines’ first win at a World Cup, women’s or men’s, and the result blew Group A wide open.
New Zealand faces Switzerland in the last round of matches on Sunday, the same day the Philippines plays Norway, with everything still to play for.
“It was heartbreaking; I could see tears in my players’ eyes,” said Klimkova.
“I know how much it means to play in front of their family and friends.
“But it’s not over yet. We still have one game to go. We still have time to reset and refocus before the game against Switzerland.”
New Zealand’s Czech coach said the “grit” and “physicality” that had underpinned their opening-day victory over Norway were missing.
“Five days ago, we were celebrating, and we were so excited. Today, we didn’t get what we wanted and played for,” Klimkova said.
“There were a lot of unforced turnovers, which I didn’t see against Norway. The execution wasn’t excellent.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted, but the fight and the passion were definitely there.”
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