Hannah Wilkinson scored to open the second half, and New Zealand went on to beat Norway 1-0 on Thursday for its first-ever win at the Women’s World Cup, just hours after a shooting in downtown Auckland shocked the host nation.
Wilkinson struck in the 48th minute after a goalless first half. She is now the first New Zealand player to score in three Women’s World Cups (2011, 2015, and 2023).
Jacqui Hand broke away down the right side and executed the perfect cross for Wilkinson, who netted the ball with effortless ease. The goal meant Wilkinson has now scored in three Women’s World Cup finals (2011, 2015, and 2023), the first New Zealand player to do so.
The goal helped the Football Ferns win a Women’s World Cup game for the first time after 15 unsuccessful attempts in five previous appearances at the finals.
New Zealand, ranked 26th in the world, had won just once in its last 11 matches before the win against Norway.
A gunman stormed a high-rise construction site near Norway’s team hotel and opened fire, killing two people. The gunman was found dead after a police shootout.
There was increased security at Eden Park stadium, where 42,137 people—a record crowd for a football match in New Zealand — were on hand to cheer on the home team, co-hosts of the tournament with Australia. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was among those at the game.
After an opening ceremony that honoured New Zealand’s Indigenous heritage, there was a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting. Four people were wounded in the attack, including a police officer.
New Zealand got the nod to stage the first game, although co-host Australia’s match against Ireland in Sydney started about an hour later.
The Football Ferns had played in five previous World Cups but hadn’t won a match.
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