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The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 got off to a great start on Thursday, with New Zealand picking up a massive three points against Norway in their opening group game and Australia beating Ireland without their captain and star striker Sam Kerr.

Here’s everything that happened on day one of the Women’s World Cup and a sneak peek of what’s in store for us tomorrow:

New Zealand 1, Norway 0

Outside of Ria Percival’s 89th-minute penalty attempt that hit the crossbar, New Zealand really couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Women’s World Cup. Against 12th-ranked Norway, the Football Ferns earned their first Women’s World Cup victory. Before Thursday, they were 0W-3D-12L in the tournament, which was the longest winless streak in Women’s World Cup history.

[Women’s World Cup 2023 highlights: New Zealand earns first WWC win]

Summary of New Zealand vs. Norway | FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

 

Australia 1, Republic of Ireland 0

Ireland came very close but ultimately failed to steal a point from Australia on Thursday. Steph Catley’s penalty in the 52nd minute made the difference for The Matildas, who were without their usual goalscorer Sam Kerr. Kerr suffered a calf injury on Thursday that will keep her out of Australia’s first two matches.

[Women’s World Cup 2023 highlights: Australia holds on to win]

Summary of Australia vs. Ireland | FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

Summary of Australia vs. Ireland | FIFA Women's World Cup 2023

 

SAVING OF THE DAY

There was no shortage of scoring opportunities in Thursday’s opener, with both teams combining for 25 shots. While it could have led to more goals, Norwegian goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen did her best to keep her team in striking distance. Unfortunately for her and her teammates, it wasn’t enough in the end.

ASSISTANCE OF THE DAY

Jacqui Hand was rightfully credited with the assist on Hannah Wilkinson’s goal, but make no mistake: without Ali Riley’s brilliant through ball, Hand wouldn’t even have had room to land a pass, even as quick as she is.

GOAL OF THE DAY

Who else but Hannah Wilkinson? She not only scored the goal that gave the Football Ferns their historic victory, but she became the all-time leading goalscorer for New Zealand (men’s and women’s teams) with 29 goals.

New Zealand’s Hannah Wilkinson scores against Norway in the 48th minute | FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

New Zealand's Hannah Wilkinson scores against Norway in the 48th minute | FIFA Women's World Cup 2023

 

ESSENTIAL MOMENT

After the match, an emotional Ali Riley described how important it was for New Zealand to start the Women’s World Cup with a win.

[‘We deserved it’: New Zealand captain Ali Riley emotional after long-awaited win]

‘We’ve been fighting for this for so long!’ – Ali Riley on the emotions of New Zealand’s first World Cup victory

'We've been fighting for this for so long!' - Ali Riley on the emotions of New Zealand's first World Cup victory

 

THREE NUMBERS TO KNOW FOR DAY 2

Nigerian vs. Canada (10:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App)

190 — The number of career goals scored by Canadian Christine Sinclair in the international. No man or woman has scored more goals in international matches than Sinclair. A goal against Nigeria on Thursday would make her the first player, male or female, to score in six World Cups. In total, she has scored 10 goals in the Women’s World Cup.

Philippines vs. Switzerland (1 a.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports app)

18 — The number of US-born players on the Philippines Women’s World Cup roster (out of 23). The head coach of the Philippines, Alen Stajcic, is Australian. This is the first Women’s World Cup for the Philippines.

Spain vs. Costa Rica (3:30 a.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports app)

53-0 — Spain went a perfect 8-0 in World Cup qualifying, winning those games by a combined score of 53-0. The Red they will be heavy favorites against Costa Rica, but that was also the case in their opener of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which ended 1-1.

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hanna wilkinson

New Zealand

FIFA Women’s World Cup

 



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