New Zealand beat Norway to clinch historic win in Women’s World Cup
AUCKLAND – New Zealand’s Hannah Wilkinson scored as the underdogs, who are ranked world No. 26, pipped 12th-ranked Norway 1-0 in the opening game of the Women’s World Cup in Auckland on Thursday.
The striker turned in a low cross from Jacqui Hand three minutes into the second half at Eden Park to send the home crowd into a frenzy. This was her third World Cup goal and the first of this tournament.
Ria Percival could have made it 2-0 for the Football Ferns with a 90th-minute penalty, but the 33-year-old sent her effort crashing against the crossbar.
That set the stage for a nerve-racking finale, but the co-hosts held on during the nine minutes of stoppage time for their first win at the showpiece tournament after 15 unsuccessful attempts in five previous appearances.
They will next meet the Philippines and Switzerland in Group A. - AFP