New Zealand, hosts of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, delivered the first upset of the tournament with a famous 1-0 win over Norway, former champions, in the opening match of the tournament.
The first match of the Women’s World Cup kicked off at Eden Park, Auckland on Thursday and it duly delivered the hype attached to the tournament.
Hannah Wilkinson scored the only goal of the Group A fixture to shock their illustrious opponent who should have lost by more than one goal.
New Zealand had failed to win any of their fifteen previous World Cup matches. With the backing of over 42,000 fans, they stunned Norway, 1995 edition champions, who were on a four-match losing streak coming into the match.
The 26th-ranked female football nation was fearless against the Norwegians, matching them in every area of the pitch and proving dominant in phases.
The ferns struck the winning blow three minutes into the start of the second half when Wilkinson side-footed home Jacqueline Hard’s low cross to send fans into celebration mode.
New Zealand will face the Philippines in their next group match while Norway will attempt to kick-start their tournament against Switzerland.
Elsewhere, Australia made it a perfect day for the Oceania nations with a slim 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland.
A penalty converted by Stephanie Kelly on 52 minutes settled the Group B encounter.
New Zealand 1-0 Norway
Australia 1-0 Republic of Ireland