New Zealand 1-0 Norway: Football Ferns claim historic first Women’s World Cup win

New Zealand's players celebrate scoring against Norway at the Women's World Cup

Co-hosts New Zealand opened the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup in stunning style against Norway as they won on the global stage for the first time.

On a memorable night in Auckland, the Football Ferns produced a huge upset after Hannah Wilkinson swept home Jacqui Hand’s cross in front of an ecstatic crowd of 42,137 at Eden Park – a record for a football match in New Zealand.

Even Ria Percival’s 89th-minute missed penalty, after a handball by Tuva Hansen, failed to dampen the celebrations.

Fans turned up in their tens of thousands to cheer their side who had failed to win any of their previous 15 World Cup games.

They were rewarded when Wilkinson broke the deadlock in the 48th minute to spark joyous scenes in the stands.

Norway, the 1995 world champions, should have equalised soon after Wilkinson’s goal but Arsenal’s Frida Maanum poked a glorious chance wide.

New Zealand went toe to toe with their opponents and it required a diving save Aurora Mikalsen by to prevent Ali Riley from doubling the lead.

There was a minute’s silence before kick-off for the victims of a deadly shooting in Auckland earlier on Thursday.

World Cup off to a flying start

New Zealand had waited three years for this moment since being named co-hosts with Australia in 2020.

Fifa predict this tournament will be watch by two billion people globally on television and, with the eyes of the world on Eden Park for the opening game, the home crowd lapped up the occasion.

There were emotional scenes as Percival and Riley, who are both appearing at their fifth World Cup, fought back tears during the national anthems.

When play did start after an opening ceremony that ended with a spectacular fireworks display, Mexican Waves broke out in the crowd.

There were screams from the stands each time the home side threatened, while Brighton defender Rebekah Stott received a standing ovation for a wonderfully-times challenge to deny Ada Hegerberg the opening goal of the tournament.

But it was nothing compared to the noise that greeted Wilkinson’s goal.

Wilkinson was the last New Zealand player to score for her country at the 2015 World Cup on home soil.

The home side had to endure nine minutes of stoppage time before they could celebrate an unforgettable victory.

Poor Norway fail to deliver

Norway boss Hege Riise said on the eve of the tournament that her team was relishing the challenge of playing in front of a partisan home crowd.

Yet her side failed to deliver and now face a tough match against Switzerland in Hamilton next Tuesday as they look to avoid another early tournament exit.

At Euro 2022, they were embarrassed 8-0 by England and lost to Austria.

And they find themselves playing catch-up once again in New Zealand despite the array of individual talent at their disposal.

Norway had 12 attempts, including two in the final few moments, but could not find the net, with their players looking devastated at the final whistle.

More to follow.

Player of the match

WilkinsonHannah Wilkinson

with an average of 8.55

New Zealand

  1. Squad number17Player nameWilkinson

    Average rating


  2. Squad number7Player nameRiley

    Average rating


  3. Squad number16Player nameHand

    Average rating


  4. Squad number13Player nameStott

    Average rating


  5. Squad number4Player nameBott

    Average rating


  6. Squad number20Player nameRiley

    Average rating


  7. Squad number14Player nameBowen

    Average rating


  8. Squad number12Player nameHassett

    Average rating


  9. Squad number6Player nameSteinmetz

    Average rating


  10. Squad number2Player namePercival

    Average rating


  11. Squad number21Player nameEsson

    Average rating


  12. Squad number3Player nameBunge

    Average rating


  13. Squad number15Player nameSatchell

    Average rating


  14. Squad number9Player nameRennie

    Average rating



  1. Squad number20Player nameHaavi

    Average rating


  2. Squad number11Player nameReiten

    Average rating


  3. Squad number23Player nameMikalsen

    Average rating


  4. Squad number14Player nameHegerberg

    Average rating


  5. Squad number7Player nameEngen

    Average rating


  6. Squad number10Player nameGraham Hansen

    Average rating


  7. Squad number6Player nameMjelde

    Average rating


  8. Squad number13Player nameBjelde

    Average rating


  9. Squad number18Player nameMaanum

    Average rating


  10. Squad number16Player nameHarviken

    Average rating


  11. Squad number4Player nameHansen

    Average rating


  12. Squad number17Player nameBlakstad

    Average rating


  13. Squad number2Player nameSønstevold

    Average rating


  14. Squad number8Player nameBøe Risa

    Average rating



New Zealand

Formation 4-4-2

  • 21Esson
  • 4Bott
  • 13StottSubstituted forBungeat 70′minutes
  • 14Bowen
  • 7Riley
  • 20Riley
  • 2Percival
  • 6Steinmetz
  • 12Hassett
  • 16HandSubstituted forRennieat 90+4′minutes
  • 17WilkinsonSubstituted forSatchellat 86′minutes


  • 1Nayler
  • 3Bunge
  • 5Foster
  • 8Cleverley
  • 9Rennie
  • 10Longo
  • 11Chance
  • 15Satchell
  • 18Jale
  • 19Anton
  • 22Clegg
  • 23Leat


Formation 4-3-3

  • 23Mikalsen
  • 13BjeldeSubstituted forSønstevoldat 90+3′minutes
  • 6Mjelde
  • 16Harviken
  • 4Hansen
  • 7Engen
  • 18MaanumSubstituted forBøe Risaat 74′minutes
  • 11Reiten
  • 10Graham Hansen
  • 14Hegerberg
  • 17BlakstadSubstituted forHaaviat 56′minutesBooked at 85mins


  • 1Fiskerstrand
  • 2Sønstevold
  • 3Hørte
  • 5Bergsvand
  • 8Bøe Risa
  • 9Sævik
  • 12Pettersen
  • 15Eikeland
  • 19Bratberg Lund
  • 20Haavi
  • 21Jøsendal
  • 22Haug

Yoshimi Yamashita


Match Stats

Live Text

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Match ends, New Zealand 1, Norway 0.

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