AUCKLAND, July 20 – In a stunning result on the opening day of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, the New Zealand women’s national football team, known as the Football Ferns, secured an extraordinary upset over former champions Norway with a 1-0 victory at Eden Park.
Hannah Wilkinson’s second-half winner, assisted by Jacqui Hand’s pinpoint cross, marked a historic moment for New Zealand as they clinched their first-ever World Cup win. The triumph set the stage for the Football Ferns’ ambitious goal of advancing past the tournament’s opening stage.
Heading into the match as clear underdogs, New Zealand demonstrated remarkable determination and skill on home soil. The ecstatic crowd at Eden Park erupted with joy as Wilkinson found the back of the net from close range, providing the decisive goal early in the second half.
The synergy between Wilkinson and Hand showcased the team’s exceptional teamwork and precision.
With their confidence soaring, the Football Ferns now shift their focus to their upcoming clash with tournament debutants, the Philippines. Widely regarded as New Zealand’s best opportunity for another victory in Group A, this match carries significant weight for the team’s progression in the tournament. A
win against the Philippines would solidify their chances of advancing to the next stage and further bolster their historic campaign.
Sam Kerr OUT for Australia
Meanwhile, in a separate World Cup fixture, co-hosts Australia are preparing to kick off their campaign against Ireland in Sydney.
However, the home team has been dealt a significant blow with the absence of star forward and tournament poster girl, Sam Kerr. Kerr’s unfortunate calf injury sustained during training has forced her to miss not only this game but also the subsequent match.
The news comes as a disappointment for Australian fans who were eagerly anticipating Kerr’s electrifying performances.
As the first co-hosted Women’s World Cup and the inaugural tournament held in the southern hemisphere, anticipation is high for Australia’s opening match.
Despite the setback, the Australian team remains determined to overcome this challenge and make a strong statement on home soil.
The stage is set for an exciting World Cup journey, with New Zealand’s momentous upset over Norway and Australia’s debut against Ireland marking the beginning of an enthralling tournament.
Football lovers worldwide eagerly await the unfolding drama, as teams battle for glory on the grandest stage of women’s football.