Philippines Pulls Off World Cup Stunner Over New Zealand Despite Long Shot Odds
Catherine Ivill/Getty. Pictured: Sarina Bolden
After New Zealand opened the 2023 Women's World Cup with a +600 moneyline upset victory over Norway, the Philippines snagged an even bigger one over the host nation on early Tuesday morning.
As a +900 underdog on the three-way moneyline, the Philippines defeated New Zealand 1-0 on the back of a 24th-minute Sarina Bolden goal.
While the victory marks one of the biggest upsets in the recent history of the competition, this iteration of the Women's World Cup has been heavily geared toward underdog success – partly due to the severe lack of scoring.
THE PHILIPPINES (+900 ML) PULL OFF THE UPSET AND MAKE HISTORY ✅
The first World Cup victory ever for the country 🇵🇭pic.twitter.com/CjsT8t7feL
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) July 25, 2023
Through 18 games, the under is 14-4, and in only one game – Sweden vs South Africa – have both teams scored. That bodes well for the underdog, and results have backed that up.
Underdogs are 13-4-1 against the spread thus far in the competition with New Zealand and the Philippines representing the biggest outright underdog victories.
Two of the biggest Women's World Cup upsets came in the 2015 competition. Colombia overcame France as a +700 underdog, and Brazil fell to Australia when the Socceroos were +300, but neither reached the scale of this Philippines win.
While scoring is down, it's not all because teams are struggling to generate chances. Through 17 matches (pending data for Switzerland vs Norway, which ended 0-0), 46.7 expected goals (xG) have been created, but just 32 goals have been scored.
That means teams have converted just 68.5% of the goals that they would be expected to over a long-term sample. Essentially, it's out of the ordinary for finishing to be this poor.
Conventional wisdom says that regression is coming, but teams like the Philippines will have no issue if that is not the case.