After a miserable beginning at the women’s football World Cup in New Zealand and Australia, Norway’s national team sought revenge and got it with a 6-0 victory over the Philippines on Sunday. It was a thrilling morning for football fans back home, and not least the players on a cold night in Auckland.
“We delivered from the start,” a proud and clearly relieved head coach Hege Riise told TV3. Sophie Román Haug scored after just six minutes of play, and two more times later. Caroline Graham Hansen, who’d aired frustration and anger over the team’s poor performance earlier in the week, also kicked in a precise goal, as did Guro Reiten after a pentalty against the Philippines, which also erred after landing a ball in their own goal. The entire Norwegian team, meanwhile, appeared much more organized and well-positioned in their third match at the World Cup, with Riise noting that they’ve been working hard on defense as well as offense.
“I’m incredibly proud of the whole gang,” said Haug, who plays professionally for Roma. She’d been brought in to replace Ada Hegerberg, who needed to take it easy after an injury, and ended up being able to claim a so-called “hat trick,” for scoring three times in the same match. “This is an incredibly great feeling,” she added.
Norway lost its opening match against World Cup co-host New Zealand and then ended 0-0 against Switzerland. The Norwegians simply had to win against the Philippines in order to advance to the next round, and they did. They’ll meet either Spain or Japan next weekend.