Reporting from Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
Norway entered Sunday’s match towards the Philippines on the backside of Group A. The very best-ranked workforce on this planet within the group had begun the World Cup with a horrible effort in a 1-0 loss to the co-hosts, New Zealand, then adopted it up with a scoreless draw towards Switzerland that was additional marred by the workforce’s discontent going public.
Sunday, then, was an inflection level for the Twelfth-ranked workforce on this planet: crash and burn towards a World Cup debutant to finish a wretched event or come collectively and reply.
Norway did the latter.
“There’s been rather a lot occurring in our workforce up to now on this event – not in a great way,” Norway midfielder Guro Reiten mentioned. “We’ve been speaking and discussing like, ‘Are you in or are you not?’ Everyone seems to be in, stick collectively, let’s present what we’re fabricated from, and I feel we did that right now.”
Sophie Haug scored a hat trick to guide Norway to a 6-0 victory over the Philippines on Sunday. The victory secured Norway development to the following spherical, a stark turnaround from a depressing begin to the event.
There have been the poor outcomes and performances, in fact, however then there was every little thing else. After the loss to New Zealand, Norway gamers lamented their workforce’s lack of ability to resolve the opponent regardless of the Soccer Ferns enjoying precisely the way in which Norway had scouted. Norway’s sport towards Switzerland introduced extra drama.
Barcelona star Caroline Graham Hansen was benched for that sport and mentioned afterward that she felt like she had been “stepped on” for the previous yr. She rapidly apologized for her feelings getting the higher of her, however the points inside the Norway camp had been clear. There have been Norwegian media stories about participant frustrations with head coach Hege Riise.
“We’ve been by this week collectively,” Riise mentioned after Sunday’s win. “We talked as a workforce and as people. In the present day, the final couple of days, you would see the power coming again inside the workforce.”
She continued: “Caroline [was] performing nice each on the left aspect and the best aspect right now. So, it was relieving for all of us that we got here again from a couple of days which were laborious for all of us.”
Hansen spoke to Norwegian reporters postgame however didn’t area any questions in English.
Norway captain Maren Mjelde mentioned after the match that the main target now could be on the sphere.
“There’s been rather a lot occurring, however we as a workforce have gone by it, we’ve come by it,” Mjelde mentioned. “We’re a powerful group and the main target was on doing what we do finest, and that’s soccer. I feel we confirmed that right now. I’ve had a superb feeling the entire day going into this sport.”
Norway gamers channeled their frustrations, their anger, the annoyances into an emphatic consequence towards a Philippines aspect that had defeated New Zealand 5 days earlier.
“All of the power that we’ve: dangerous, good, every little thing in between, simply put it into tonight’s efficiency,” Reiten mentioned.
Haug opened the scoring six minutes into the match to set the tone. She began rather than Ada Hegerberg, who missed a second straight match attributable to a groin damage. Hegerberg mentioned after the match that she feels good and she or he’s “caring for it day-to-day.”
“Getting a win like right now, it must nourish us indirectly,” Hegerberg mentioned. “It wants to provide us confidence and it additionally wants to provide us like a, ‘OK, how can we be even higher?’ as a result of I feel we might be even higher, and you want to be very self-critical in good moments. I feel that’s the way you’re going to do properly.
Reiten mentioned the lesson from the previous week is that the workforce should stick collectively. Both Japan or Spain awaits within the Spherical of 16. Both can be a a lot stronger take a look at than any workforce Norway has confronted so far at this event.
“We’re not carried out but,” Reiten mentioned. “Very completely satisfied about tonight, very completely satisfied about going by to the following spherical, however we wish extra.”