The ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is finally here and the opening day sure did deliver. Both the co-hosts grabbed massive victories and kicked start a campaign that extends into the middle of next month. While we are it, Let’s rewind on the key takeaways from the first day of the grand celebration of football. Also Read: 2023-24 Premier League Stadiums Arranged According to Seating Capacity
The Opening Ceremony centered on the Australasian past
The Opening Ceremony focused on the First Nations and the Maori, a rich past of the Trans-Tasman countries. A giant stingray represented the indigenous traditions of the NZ people while a rainbow serpent represented the Australians. Traditionally, the New Zealanders consider sting ray (whai) as a kaiteki (guardian) of the ocean. It is an important part of the Maori mythology. The rainbow serpent, on the other hand, is a revered deity in Aboriginal culture associated with creation in several instances.
New Zealand registers its first-ever win in FIFA World Cup
The upset against Norway is even more sweet considering that the victory is New Zealand’s first win in a FIFA World Cup. Having played fifteen games in the tournament so far, the Football Ferns have never been awarded a positive result.
The women put forward all their might as an almost sold-out Eden Park awaited eagerly for the results. The New Zealand men have played two tournaments, however, has never been victorious.
Hannah Wilkinson scores the first goal of the tournament
The Football Ferns’ striker Hannah Lilian Wilkinson scored the very goal of the tournament. The 31-year-old from Whangarei slid in the assist from Jacqui Hand in the 47th minute. The Melbourne City player said that this is her biggest goal by far. Wilkinson has previously scored in draws against Mexico and China in 2011 and 2015 respectively. She added that she feels elated and inexpressible all the while saying that she might have got some Kiwis interested in women’s football.
The World Cup paid tributes to the victims of the Auckland Shooting
The players and the crowd observed a moment of silence for the victims of the tragic Auckland shooting. In a very tragic incident, two young people lost their lives and six were injured in the suburb of Grey Lynn, hours before the game started.
A moment of silence was held before the start of the match between New Zealand and Norway at Eden Park. The moment of silence paved a way for the players, the crowd, and the entire country to show their support for the victims and their families.
Republic of Ireland makes Women’s World Cup Debut
Republic of Ireland made its FIFA Women’s World Cup debut as they locked horns with hosts Australia. Despite an unfortunate result, The Girls in Green put up a heavy defense and tested the Matildas’ patience.
The Girls in Green belong to a very tough group consisting of Canada, Nigeria and Australia. Knock-out hopes are blimey but with two more games, The Shamrock might lead em into the glory.
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