Women’s World Cup 2023: Thursday’s Group Results and Friday’s Schedule
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AP Photo/Andrew Cornaga
Australia and New Zealand are co-hosts of this year’s World Cup and wasted zero time Thursday setting the tone for the entire tournament with dramatic victories.
The Matildas overcame the late scratch of star player Sam Kerr to earn a grueling win over a tough Republic of Ireland team while The Ferns stunned the soccer world with an upset over perennial powerhouse Norway.
Those wins precede the first appearance by the United States and the world’s first look at a Spain team hoping to dive deeper into the competition in 2023 than in previous appearances.
Thursday’s Women’s World Cup Results
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Thursday’s games yielded the following results:
- New Zealand def. Norway, 1-0
- Australia def. Republic of Ireland, 1-0
Nigeria vs. Canada airs Thursday night at 10:30 p.m.
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On the lineup for Friday’s World Cup play is:
- Philippines vs. Switzerland (1:00 a.m.)
- Spain vs. Costa Rica (3:30 a.m.)
- United States vs. Vietnam (9:00 p.m.)
All matches airing on Fox Sports 1 and streaming on the Fox Sports app
New Zealand Stuns Norway
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AP Photo/Abbie Parr
The World Cup saw its first significant upset Thursday as co-host New Zealand defeated Norway, 1-0.
Not only was Norway the favorite, but New Zealand had yet to win a single match in any of its five previous World Cup appearances.
Hannah Wilkinson etched her name in the history books, scoring the winning goal on a cross from Jacqui Hand in the 48th minute of play.
“Words can’t even describe, honestly. I’m so proud to be a Fern tonight. So grateful for all the Kiwis that came out and supported us tonight. We really felt your support,” Wilkinson said after the victory.
“I can’t really describe how special it is. It’s amazing. It really is.”
It was a defining moment from a game that was anything but what fans have come to expect from Norway. It was a sluggish, sloppy, often disjointed affair that culminated with a potential game-tying score by Tuva Hansen that bounced off the crossbar.
“We had some decent chances that we could have scored on … But really we did not manage to create an established attack that could put pressure on them, which we could have done,” Ada Hegerberg said after the match.
Norway was a team that was favored by some to win the entire World Cup and now, there are very clear questions about its ability to compete against the top the world has to offer.
To do so, it will have to be crisper, more focused and wake up a lot sooner than the 25th minute.
Host Country Australia Downs Ireland in Group Play
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Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Host country Australia kicked off its bid for the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland.
In Ireland’s first appearance at the event, its first global tournament of any kind, it turned in a gutsy performance. The team held The Matildas scoreless for 51 minutes before defender Steph Catley converted a penalty kick into the first goal of the match.
It would be the only goal needed for the home team, competing front of 76,000 screaming fans, to pick up the win.
The Girls in Green never allowed the deficit to hamper their play as they continued to push hard but ran out of time to, at the least, draw their competition.
The Aussies earned the win without their top player as captain Sam Kerr was sidelined with a calf strain suffered in training. It was an absence that Kerr, herself, announced shortly before game time on Instagram and one that could have completely thrown off the team.
Instead, they battled against a gritty Ireland squad that may prove problematic for more seasoned squads as the tournament continues.
Kerr will miss the team’s next match, against Nigeria next week, so it will be interesting to see what adjustments Australia makes to account for her absence.
She has scored a staggering 63 goals in 120 international matches and is widely considered one of the best players in the game. Hers is not a spot that will be easy to fill, but that is the position the team finds it in if it hopes to compete for the cup.