New Zealand record first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup win

New Zealand record first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup win

New Zealand have kicked off their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign with a huge win over Norway in Group A.

Hannah Wilkinson was the hero on the night, scoring the only goal of the game to help the Football Ferns to a first-ever win at any edition of the tournament.

Few chances were created by either team during the timid opening, with Norway producing more despite New Zealand’s constant pressure. Their first clear-cut opportunity fell to Frida Maanum, but her shot went over the bar.

After taking up the ball in her own half and moving to the byline while dodging two defenders, Caroline Graham Hansen showed off her speed on the wing by passing the ball to Ada Hegerberg. The striker attempted to cushion the ball into the bottom corner, but Rebekah Stott made a last-ditch block.

Just a few minutes into the second stanza, the Football Ferns would make a breakthrough. Wilkinson finished forcefully past Aurora Mikalsen in the goal after only five passes from the custodian to the striker.

Hege Riise’s team had chances to tie the score, with Tuva Hansen’s long-range shot causing Victoria Esson in the New Zealand goal to make a magnificent save by putting the shot into the crossbar with a finger-tip stop.

Late in the game, the co-hosts had a chance to secure the victory, but Ria Percival’s spot-kick, which was given after Hansen handled the ball in the box, ricocheted against the crossbar. The record-breaking audience at Eden Park cheered when the final whistle blew after nine minutes of stoppage time.

Hannah Wilkinson celebrates scoring her team’s first goal.

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