Bolden’s first-half header was the country’s first ever goal in the competition’s history.
The World Cup co-host looked to have earned itself a route back into the game midway through the second half when Jacqui Hand’s looping header floated over a despairing Olivia McDaniel in goal, but it was later ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) for offside.
The World Cup debutant was able to withstand New Zealand pressure, including a truly remarkable diving save from McDaniel in added time at the end of the game, to earn a historic victory, sparking scenes of jubilant celebrations.
“I literally can’t put it into words,” Bolden said afterwards. “This has been a dream of mine as a little kid to just be here at the World Cup, let alone even score.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, the staff, the fans, the Philippines as a whole. It’s just amazing right now to feel this win and this energy in this stadium right now, so it’s just amazing.”
In a finely-poised Group A, the Philippines – after becoming the first of the debutant teams to win at the 2023 Women’s World Cup – now has an opportunity to make yet further history by reaching the knockout phases with one group game remaining.
It is a memorable moment for the country, many of whose players are US-born and ply their trade around the world.
Chief amongst those is Bolden, who was born in Santa Clara, California, and plays for Western Sydney Wanderers in the Australian A-League.
Before joining the national team, Bolden – who qualifies to represent both the US and the Philippines – had never been to the Asian nation. Now, she’s one of the team’s most recognizable stars.
“Everyone’s really excited for what’s to come and to really shock the world,” she told CNN ahead of the Women’s World Cup.
“I know soccer isn’t the main sport in the Philippines… But I think by seeing us on the big screen, on the big stage, I think more people are going to be really interested and want to get into soccer.”