Co-hosts of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, Australia and New Zealand, won their first matches side by side 1-0.
New Zealand pulled off the upset with a 1-0 victory over powerhouse Norway in their Group A opener at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand on Tuesday (July 20).
It was New Zealand’s first win in World Cup play. It was a historic first win on home soil for the All Blacks, who hadn’t won a game in any of their previous tournaments, drawing three and losing 12.
New Zealand opened the scoring in the second minute of the second half. Jackie Hand sent in a cross after a flank break and Hannah Wilkinson headed it home. Norway pushed for an equalizer but came up short.
Fellow hosts Australia defeated Ireland 1-0 earlier in the day at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia, in their first Group B match of the tournament.
Women’s soccer powerhouse Australia, which reached back-to-back quarterfinals at the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Women’s World Cups and the round of 16 at the 2019 tournament, won its first tournament on home soil.
Ireland, who qualified for the Women’s World Cup for the first time ever, suffered defeat in their first match.
The hosts took the lead in the fifth minute of the second half. Ireland’s Marissa Sheva was tripped and fouled by Australia’s Haley Lasso as she rushed into the penalty box. The penalty kick was awarded and captain Stephanie Catley stepped up and smashed a hard left-footed shot into the corner of the net, rattling the net.
Ireland stepped up their offense in search of an equalizer, but the goal was not to be. A free kick and a corner in second-half stoppage time also failed to produce an equalizer. A shot from captain Katie McCabe was also saved by Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.
It was the first time in Women’s World Cup history that the co-hosts won their first match by the same score.
At the only other co-hosted Men’s World Cup, the 2022 Korea-Japan World Cup, South Korea opened with a 2-0 win over Poland in their first group game, while Japan drew 2-2 with Belgium. 파워볼