Hannah Wilkinson scored the one aim as co-hosts New Zealand recorded a historic 1-0 victory over Norway within the opening recreation of the Women’s World Cup on Thursday.
It was the nation’s first-ever win on the World Cup and got here in entrance of greater than 42,000 in Auckland, the most important crowd in New Zealand soccer historical past.
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It capped a day which began when New Zealand’s largest metropolis was shaken within the morning by a taking pictures which left two victims and the gunman lifeless, the incident occurring in a downtown space near the place a number of World Cup groups, together with Norway, are staying.
The nation’s prime minister, Chris Hipkins, attended the match alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino at Eden Park, the place a second’s silence was held in reminiscence of these killed.
The Football Ferns, who’re co-hosting the primary 32-team Women’s World Cup together with Australia, weren’t overawed by the event as they went on to say a deserved success because of Wilkinson’s early second-half aim.
New Zealand had not received any of their 15 earlier matches throughout 5 earlier appearances on the event and had set ending that dreadful report as their modest goal this time.
They duly did so towards the previous World Cup winners, to the delight of a close to sell-out crowd of 42,137 followers, a nationwide report for any soccer match within the nation, males’s or ladies’s.
Their margin of victory on a chilly, moist and windy night would even have been larger had Ria Percival not missed a late penalty.
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Hannah Wilkinson is mobbed by her New Zealand teammates after scoring towards Norway. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)Source: AFP
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Qualifying for the knockout levels from Group A could now be a sensible goal, with Switzerland and minnows the Philippines their different opponents.
Meanwhile Norway, whose squad had been woken early by a helicopter and emergency autos responding to the taking pictures simply metres away from their resort, had been disappointing.
Wearing all black on the residence of the nation’s all-conquering rugby union crew, New Zealand had been the higher aspect within the first half with out creating something to noticeably hassle Norway goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen.
The breakthrough got here three minutes after the restart as Jacqui Hand’s low ball into the field from the best was swept into the web by Wilkinson, the striker based mostly in Australia.
The recreation opened up as Norway, world champions in 1995, went in search of an equaliser, and Frida Maanum by some means missed the goal from a promising place.
Indiah-Paige Riley had a advantageous effort turned over on the different finish, whereas Norway’s former Ballon d’Or-winning ahead Ada Hegerberg remained subdued.
Tuva Hansen got here closest to equalising with a long-range strike that was tipped onto the bar by New Zealand goalkeeper Victoria Esson.
And it was Hansen’s handball that was then penalised following a VAR test late on, however Percival hit the bar from the ensuing Ninetieth-minute penalty.