Norway shutouts Nigeria in opener

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Norway shutouts Nigeria in opener

Norway goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth became only the fourth player to appear at a Women's World Cup aged 39 or older, after Brazil's Meg (1995), Nigeria's Perpetua Nkwocha (2015) and USA's Christie Pearce (2015). "So, I hope we can score a lot of goals".

Lisa-Marie Utland scored the second with only her fifth touch of the game, rifling her shot through the hands of Nigeria goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi into the roof of the net with half an hour gone.

With this win, Norway are level on points with hosts France, who they face on Wednesday.

Norway took the lead in the first half and the expectation of Nigerians was that the Super Falcons would soar in the second half, but they could not as the match ended 3-0.

Martin Odegaard said the Norway women's team "deserves better" in scathing criticism aimed at Ballon d'Or-winning striker Ada Hegerberg following her decision not to play at the Women's World Cup.

Mistakes from Oluehi and Ebi after what should have been a routine goal kick then led to the third goal, with Isabell Herlovsen's right-wing cross diverted into her own net by Ohale.

NAN reports that the 0-3 result was not the start the Super Falcons would have wanted, going by the way they came into the game. The fearless twosome are great individually, but the fact that they play their club football together for Chelsea gave them an nearly telepathic understanding at the heart of the Norwegian rearguard. Much like the other Group A match, the night before, the second half failed to match the first, the bite taken out of the action leaving everything feeling a little flat.

The goals were scored in the first half to condemn the nine-time African champions to their 17th defeat in World Cup finals.

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