Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

New Zealand-Australia win side-by-side: 온라인바카라 ‘The power of the hosts’

New Zealand players celebrate their goal in the opening match of the Women’s World Cup 2023
New Zealand Football Association

Co-hosts of the Women’s World Cup 2023, Australia and New Zealand, won their opening matches side by side.

The All Blacks beat Norway thanks to a Hannah Wilkinson strike in their Group A opener at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, on Tuesday (20 June).

The Kiwis, who had failed to win a single game in their previous five World Cup appearances, drawing three and losing 12, all of which resulted in group stage exits, were delighted with their first win as hosts.

‘Fifteen games to 16’ as New Zealand celebrate their first ever win

In the ninth edition of the Women’s World Cup, no host nation has ever failed to make it past the group stage. If the Kiwis beat the Philippines in the second round, they will extend that record.

Meanwhile, Norway, the 1995 champions in Sweden, led by striker Ada Hegerberg, the inaugural winner of the 2018 Ballon d’Or awarded to the world’s best player, suffered a stinging defeat at the hands of the underdogs.

Spurred on by a raucous home crowd of 43,000, the Kiwis overcame their technical disadvantage by stepping up their game. They harassed Norway with a relentless pressing defence and tried to nip any crises in the bud.

With the score at 0-0 at the start of the second half, the Kiwis went on the counter-attack as if they had been waiting for it. Three minutes into the second half, after breaking down the Norwegian defence with an exquisite through ball, New Zealand took the lead when Jackie Hand sent in a grounded cross from the right and Hannah Wilkinson, rushing into the box, headed home with her right foot.

Norway fought back, but their best chance came in the 36th minute when Tuva Hansen’s deflected mid-range shot hit the post. New Zealand had another chance to score. In the 45th minute, they were awarded a penalty kick for a handball in the box, but kicker Leah Percival hit the post.

After withstanding a strong Norwegian attack in late stoppage time, the Kiwis celebrated as if they had won the tournament when the final whistle blew.

The historic victory was celebrated across New Zealand. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins visited the locker room to congratulate the players, while head coach Jitka Klimkova said: “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. I still have goosebumps and it’s hard to control my emotions.”

‘Women’s football powerhouse’ Australia gives Ireland ‘a run for their money’

Steph Catley of Australia celebrates her penalty goal in the opening match of the Women’s World Cup 2023.
Australian Football Association

Soon after, the Socceroos beat Ireland 1-0 in their first Group B match at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia.

The Socceroos are a powerhouse in women’s football, having progressed through the group stages on four consecutive occasions before the last edition in France, and reached the quarter-finals on three consecutive occasions from 2007 in China to 2015 in Canada. Ireland, on the other hand, are new to the knockout stages.

As expected, Australia took control from the start. The Irish responded with a defensive minded tactic, holding Ireland to just 29% ball possession in the first half.

However, Australia’s finishing was lacklustre, largely due to the absence of leading striker Sam Kerr, who has scored 63 goals in A matches. Rookie striker Mary Fowler, 20, started in Kerr’s place, but the first half ended 0-0.

It wasn’t until the seventh minute of the second half that Australia took the lead from the penalty spot. Haley Lasso was pushed down by Ireland’s Marissa Shiva in a contested aerial ball, earning a penalty, and Steph Catley, wearing the captain’s armband, stepped up to the spot and rattled the net.

Ireland also had nine shots, but only one on target. Katie McCabe had a last-ditch effort in second-half stoppage time, but it was blocked by the goalkeeper. In the end, Australia defended their lead well to give their 75,000-strong home crowd an opening win.

By admin

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