New Zealand Women's Football team created history by defeating Norway in the opening match of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023. The Football Ferns defeated the Football Girls by 1 goal, thanks to a super finish by New Zealand's Hannah Wilkinson. This is their first-ever win in any FIFA World Cup, be it men or women. Read the full New Zealand vs Norway highlights from the LIVE Blog below the match report.
In front of a record crowd (42,137) at Eden Park, the New Zealand football team won their first Women's World Cup game. Before this, they had played 15 games without winning any of them.
The first half of the New Zealand vs Norway match was goalless despite a few great chances for both teams. Hannah Wilkinson, Indiah-Paige Riley had few chances for New Zealand. Meanwhile, for Norway, it was Frida Maanum and Ada Hegerberg who tried their best to break the defences of C. J. Bolt and Ali Riley. New Zealand were definitely the better team in the first half, but Norway had some glimpses of possible glory too.
However, the second half of the New Zealand vs Norway match went to the hosts New Zealand. A great run from Indiah-Paige Riley and a brilliant finish from Hannah Wilkinson gave the lead to them in the 48th minute and post that it was all about them. Norway started looking dejected after the goal with very less connection between the forwards and the supply line. Coach Hege Riise tried to make some changes, but that did not change anything either.
Indiah-Paige Riley kept on threatening the Norweigan defence as one of her curved left-footer nearly went in for her first international goal. The 21-year-old was outstanding from the wings proving all sorts of help to her partners. New Zealand's most-capped played Ria Percival had the chance to make it 2-0 twice, but failed on both occasions.
Ria first had the chance to score from a beautiful cutback pass from Hannah Wilkinson, but shot it wide. Then, she had the golden opportunity to score from the spot after VAR had provided them a penalty. But, Ria could not score her first world cup goal for the Football Ferns as she hit the bar from the spot.
In the second half, except for one chance from Tuva Hansen where she hit the bar from the edge of the box, nothing was there to see for the Norway fans. New Zealand players were seen emotional on the pitch after the final whistle which made them part of a history for their country.
HERE WE GO! New Zealand in black and Norway in White. A huge crowd at Eden Park witnessing the game and cheering for the home team, New Zealand.
Kiwi forward Hannah Wilkinson had a chance from the wings but could not enter the box to convert it into a goal for the home team.
New Zealand looking to counter-attack from the wings. Norway have been good with their blocks in the box as well.
Noway have been good in buildups. Hegerberg tried to be active in the box. This time she had found Frida Maanum in the box with a chest drop. However, Frida shoots it over the bar. A good chance for the visitors.
Both Norway and New Zealand had their chances in the first thirty minutes of the game. But, no goals so far both the teams. Indiah-Paige Riley for the Football ferns has caught attention with speed and agility. Hegerberg, just like any other match, has been good as well.
New Zealand have been the better team with more opportunities and free kicks. But, the defence line of Norway has been good at their task as well.
Graham Hansen's pace nearly made a chance for the Norwegian team. She went past two Football ferns mid-fielders to find Ada Hegerber. But, a great block by Ali Riley keeps it to zero-zero at Eden Park.
Wilkinson nearly scored for the Football Ferns from the right of the box where she had found some space. However, Thea Bjelde was there to save Norway's goal. A terrific block from the central defender.
At half-time the scoreline is goalless.
We are back with the LIVE updates of the New Zealand vs Norway match in FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.
Hannah Wilkinson scores the first goal of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023. She now has scored in three world cups. A great team goal for the Football Ferns.
A quick substitution from Norway to change the momentum of the game. Julie Blakstad is replaced by Emilie Haavi.
It was right in front of her in the box and Hergerberg was behind her. But Maanum shoots it wide. She looks shocked as well. It needed to go in for Norway.
Indiah-Paige Riley nearly scored her first international goal for the Football Ferns. But, a great save from Aurora Mikalsen denies her the goal. New Zealand dominating the game here.
First change of the game for the hosts. Rebekah Stott is replaced by Claudia Bunge.
Firda Maanum is substituted by Vilde Boe Risa
New Zealand's most-capped Ria Percival had a go a the nets but shoots it a bit wider. Wilkinson's pass at the top of the box was near-perfect for Ria to bend it in the corner. But it is still 1-0 for New Zealand.
It is the first football match played in New Zealand with more than 40,000 football fans at the stadium, including the men's football as well.
ohhhhhhh! Tuva Hansen nearly scored for Norway. Surely the best chance for the visitors in the second half. A right-footed shot from the edge of the box. Victoria Esson had a touch as well.
Paige Stachell replaces the goal-scorer.
A VAR Check is going on to check a probable penalty due to a handball Tuva Hansen.
A huge miss by the veteran who hits the bar. It could have been her first World Cup goal for the Football Ferns playing 13 matches already. But, she misses it.
Can Norway make a comeback in these 9 minutes?
Another change for Ada Hegerberg! But she shoots it wide from the middle of the box. Uff, Kiwi hearts would have been in shock!
History for the Football Ferns. They win their first-ever match at the FIFA Women's World Cup history. In 32 years, this is their first win in front of a record crowd. Heartbreak for the Norway fans. But, they were not at their best against the hosts.