The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is here!
Kicking things off, Group A took center stage Thursday on FOX and the FOX Sports app, with tournament cohost New Zealand defeating Norway, 1-0, at Auckland’s Eden Park stadium in front of more than 42,000 fans.
It was New Zealand’s first-ever World Cup win and gets the Kiwis off to a strong start.
‘We’ve been fighting for this for so long!’
Ali Riley stopped to talk the emotions of New Zealand’s first-ever World Cup victory in their matchup against Norway.
Check out our live coverage below!
90′: Penalty missed
New Zealand midfielder Ria Percival hit the bar in the final minutes of the second half, and things ended there, 1-0.
80′: Quick shot
The crossbar was the only thing keeping Norway off the board after this speedy shot from defender Tuva Hansen.
76′: Zeroing in
Percival nearly put her squad up 2-0 midway through the second half but just missed.
62′: Picture-perfect save
58′: All-out effort
Norway’s Frida Maanum attempted to even the score early in the second half but wasn’t able to connect.
New Zealand took a 1-0 lead early in the second half after Hannah Wilkinson nailed a shot from the center of the box, marking the first goal of the 2023 tournament.
With that goal, Wilkinson became the all-time leading goalscorer for New Zealand in FIFA World Cup play — both men’s and women’s.
Wilkinson had her shot blocked in the final moments of the first half, keeping things scoreless, but it certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort.
New Zealand had the advantage in time of possession in the first half with 54% and committed just one foul to Norway’s 10.
36′: Eyes on the prize
Hegerberg was this close to getting Norway on the board in the first half, but her shot was blocked, as both squads continued to battle.
24′: Not so fast
Mikalsen kept things in a stalemate with a smooth save midway through the first half.
17′: Knocking on the door
New Zealand continued to put pressure on Norway right out of the gate with one big play after another.
7′: No quit
Hegerberg tried a through ball early in the match — bicycle kick and all — but Julie Blakstad was caught offside.
5′: What could have been
New Zealand midfielder Malia Steinmetz took an early shot but just missed.
Steinmetz, along with Claudia Bunge, Elizabeth “Liz” Anton, Michaela Foster, Jacqui Hand, Grace Jale, Anna Leat, Gabi Rennie, Riley and 17-year-old Milly Clegg are making their World Cup debut in this tournament.
1′: We’re off!
Just like that, the 2023 Women’s World Cup got underway!
A 10-minute ceremony kicked off the tournament, celebrating both New Zealand and Australia’s heritage and culture.
Moment of silence
Both teams took a pause to honor the victims of a shooting in Auckland. Earlier in the day, U.S. players said they would work to stick together after the tragedy, which occurred near the team’s hotel.
Moment of silence to honor shooting victims
New Zealand, Norway shared a pregame moment of silence to honor victims of the Auckland shooting.
Setting the stage
The World Cup Now crew previewed the match live on Twitter ahead of kickoff.
FOX Sports’ Tom Rinaldi shared everything that makes this FIFA Women’s World Cup special ahead of all the action.
History in the making
“Hopefully this time we will achieve our goal of winning a World Cup game and doing that at home, and that will make it my greatest game of my career,” Riley added.
‘This is the time to make history’
New Zealand’s Ali Riley on making history at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
On the other side, Norway has advanced out of the group stage in seven of its previous eight World Cup appearances and made it to the quarterfinals in 2019. Captain and star striker Ada Hegerberg, a former Ballon d’Or Féminin winner and contender for this year’s Golden Boot, is back in the mix after sitting out in 2019.
Norway is one of seven teams that have participated in every World Cup since the first edition of the tournament in 1991 and one of just four countries that have won the tournament all-time, having done so once in 1995.
‘I feel that it’s only going forward and upwards now’
Norway’s Ada Hegerberg on expectations at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
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