October 2, 2023

NZ win World Cup opener

New Zealand secures first ever World Cup win in home opener.

Hannah Wilkinson and New Zealand celebrate their goal against Norway. (Photo: Screen grab)

New Zealand – Norway 1-0

The Football Ferns opened their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup against Norway at Eden Park in Auckland on Thursday.

Following a cagey first half, it only took two minutes of the second to catch on fire.

New Zealand launched an attack from the back that ended in Hannah Wilkinson latching onto the end of a cross from Jacqui Hand and slotting the ball home behind Aurora Mikalsen.

That secured New Zealand’s first ever World Cup win, in their 16th attempt.

New Zealand had an excellent chance of taking the air out of the game, when a handball from Tuva Hansen in the 86th minute, and a VAR-check later, New Zealand were awarded a penalty..

Ria Percival stepped up but sent the ball into the crossbar.

Both teams had plenty of other chances of adding to the goal tally, but neither could find the back of the net.

After nine minutes of added time, the Japanese referee blew the whistle for the final time and Eden Park erupted.

New Zealand’s next match is against the Philippines on July 25th.

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