Hannah Wilkinson scored early in the second half and New Zealand claimed its first win at the Women’s World Cup in Norway 1-0 on Thursday, hours after a shooting in downtown Auckland shocked the host nation.
A gunman burst into a high-rise construction site near the Norway team hotel and opened fire, killing two people. The gunman was found dead after a shootout with police.
Security was beefed up at Eden Park Stadium, where 42,137 people – a record number of spectators for a soccer match in New Zealand – gathered to cheer on the host team, co-hosting the tournament with Australia. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was among those attending the match. After the game, he went into the locker room and thanked the team for their inspiring performance.
After the opening ceremony, which honored New Zealand’s indigenous population, a moment of silence was held in memory of the victims of the shooting. Five people were injured in the attack, including a police officer.
The New Zealand Football Ferns team had participated in five previous World Cups but had not won a match.
We really wanted to inspire young girls across the country and I think we succeeded today. We showed that anything is possible, said team captain Ali Riley, who had happy tears in her eyes.
Norway is notwhich has become a drought. We have made history, but we cannot stop there. Our goal is to get out of the group.
Bowen said she was awakened early in the morning by a call from her brother asking if she was OK after hearing about the Oakland shooting.
I think everyone was just dumbfounded because that doesn’t happen in New Zealand,” Bowen said. ‘But I think, especially on game day, everyone did what they needed to do to cope and at the same time focus on the game.
New Zealand won the right to host the first World Cup game, although tournament co-host Australia’s match against Ireland in Sydney started about an hour after the first half ended.n of the group will advance to the knockout stage.
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