New Zealand
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

New Zealand registers historic win at Women's World Cup

AUCKLAND, July 20 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand celebrated a historic victory on Thursday at a nearly full Eden Park, edging Norway 1-0 in the opening match of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

This triumph put an end to its previous poor campaign performance. In its five World Cup outings, New Zealand failed to reap any victory in the past 15 games.

The winning goal was scored by Hannah Wilkinson in front of 42,137 spectators, while Ria Percival failed to add the second as her penalty was thwarted later by the woodwork.

Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the ninth edition of the Women's World Cup is slated to run from July 20 to August 20. This is the first time the tournament is hosted by more than one country and includes 32 teams.

A shooting in Auckland on Thursday morning left three people, including the gunman, dead and six others injured, casting a pall over the Women's World Cup's outlook.

"FIFA extends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims following the incident," said the organization, which also observed a moment of silence before the match's kickoff.

New Zealand, with a historically poorer record against Norway who boasted three victories from equal official matches, fielded Alexandra Riley in her fifth World Cup appearance. Ada Hegerberg, the women's Ballon d'Or winner, spearheaded Norway's frontline.

The first half was rather lacklustre, devoid of any goals. New Zealand, however, emerged strong after the break with a well-coordinated play. Jacqui Hand initiated the move from their own territory, sprinted down the right, and rolled the ball across for Wilkinson to tap in from close range, marking her third World Cup goal.

Norway nearly equalized in the 81st minute, but Tuva Hansen's attempt met the crossbar.

A penalty was awarded to New Zealand in the 90th minute after a VAR review, but Percival missed the chance, hitting the bar.

The away team made a final push in the closing minutes, but it proved fruitless against the steadfast defense of New Zealand players.

The final whistle triggered a roar of cheers throughout the stadium, and some players were unable to hold back their tears, celebrating their historic victory.