Co-host New Zealand’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign got off to a perfect start as they defeated the much fancied opponent, Norway 1-0 in a game played at the Eden park in Auckland.
Right from the get go, New Zealand were on the front foot but failed to turn their early dominance into goals . However and just after the break, the all blacks took the lead in the 48th minute
Hannah Wilkinson’s thumping close range effort changed moods all around the park and especially for those supporting the home side. The 31 year old forward scored what became the first of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
She also became the first New Zealander to score 3 World Cup goals with what turned out to be the game’s decider.
Norway, complete with Olympique Lyon’s forward Ada Hegerberg and for much of the game tried to match their opponent but fell short in a the major stats, subsequently ended the game in that fashion.
Just before full time, New Zealand should have gone two up but Ria Percival saw her spot kick come off the woodwork.
With the points in the bag [ an historic first 3 points/win at the Women’s world cup], New Zealand went atop of Group A, while Norway are at the foot of the table pending when the group’s other teams in Switzerland and the Philippines play tomorrow.