Game on! New Zealand ready for opening fixture at FIFA Women’s World Cup

New Zealand play Norway at Auckland’s Eden Park, knowing a win will bring the Football Ferns their first-ever win at a FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The match is the opening game of the 2023 tournament and provides both sides with an important step in their efforts to qualify from Group A for the knockout stages.

Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková has indicated her team will aim to be physical in their approach — what she calls “gritty” and “hard to beat”.

Main photo: The Football Ferns … ready for action in the opener against Norway. Photo credit: NZ Football.

READ MORE: Coach: How we want to be remembered after the FIFA Women’s World Cup >>>>

New Zealand are rated the outsiders of this match, with bookmakers TAB rating Norway a 73% probability of a win, with a 17% chance of a draw and only a 10% likelihood of a home team victory.

New Zealand were paying $9.00 in fixed odds betting to win, while a dollar on a Norway win returns only $1.22. The draw is $5.50.

Two global sports data analyst companies, however, rate New Zealand as a chance of making it into the top 16 of the tournament.

READ MORE: Sports data analysts forecast a top 16 finish for Ferns at FIFA Women’s World Cup >>>>

Record crowd expected

READ MORE: Record crowd expected for Ferns’ opening game at FIFA Women’s World Cup >>>>


Game to be played on Thursday July 20, 2023

New Zealand v Norway
Eden Park, Auckland, 7pm

How to watch

Here’s how and when you can watch the game on television, including the match highlights and full replays.

WATCH: How to follow the FIFA Women’s World Cup openers on television >>>>

Here’s how and when you can listen to match commentaries on radio.

LISTEN: How to follow the games on radio >>>>

How to get there

If you’re going to Eden Park, don’t forget your match ticket includes free use of public transport to get there and back.

READ MORE: How to use public transport to get to Women’s World Cup opener at Eden Park >>>>

Before the game

The official world cup song Do It Again will be performed live by New Zealand singer BENEE and Australian entertainer Mallrat as part of the opening ceremony that starts at 6.35pm.

LISTEN: ‘Do It Again’ launched as official anthem for FIFA Women’s World Cup >>>>

The squads

New Zealand

Current FIFA ranking: #26

Best World Cup finish: Group stage 2019

Base training camp: Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, Auckland (home of Auckland United)


1 Erin Nayler (IFK Norrköping, Sweden)
21 Victoria Esson (Rangers, Scotland)
23 Anna Leat (Aston Villa, England)*


4 CJ Bott (Leicester City, England)
3 Claudia Bunge (Melbourne Victory, Australia)*
5 Michaela Foster (Unattached)*
7 Ali Riley (Angel City, United States)
13 Rebekah Stott (Brighton & Hove Albion, England)
14 Katie Bowen (Unattached)
19 Elizabeth Anton (Perth Glory, Australia)*


2 Ria Percival (Tottenham Hotspur, England)
6 Malia Steinmetz (Unattached)*
8 Daisy Cleverley (HB Køge, Denmark)
10 Annalie Longo (Unattached)
11 Olivia Chance (Celtic, Scotland)
12 Betsy Hassett (Stjarnan, Iceland)


9 Gabi Rennie (Arizona State University, United States)*
15 Paige Satchell ( Unattached)
16 Jacqui Hand (Åland United, Finland)*
17 Hannah Wilkinson (Melbourne City, Australia)
18 Grace Jale (Unattached)*
20 Indiah-Paige Riley (Unattached)*
22 Milly Clegg (Western Sydney Wanderers, Australia)*

*FIFA Women’s World Cup debut

Head coach

Jitka Klimková


Current FIFA ranking: #12

Best World Cup finish: Winners 1995

Base training camp: Seddon Fields, Westmere, Auckland (home of Western Springs)


1 Cecilie Fiskerstrand (LSK Kvinner, Norway)
12 Guro Pettersen (Vålerenga, Norway)
23 Aurora Mikalsen (Brann, Norway)


2 Anja Sønstevold (Inter Milan, Italy)
3 Sara Horte (Rosenborg, Norway)
4 Tuva Hansen (Bayern Munich)
5 Guro Bergsvand (Brighton, England)
6 Maren Mjelde (Chelsea, England)
16 Mathilde Harviken (Rosenborg, Norway)
19 Marit Bratberg Lund (Brann, Norway)


7 Ingrid Syrstad Engen (Barcelona, Spain)
8 Vilde Bøe Risa (Manchester United, England)
11 Guro Reiten (Chelsea, England)
13 Thea Bjelde (Vålerenga, Norway)
15 Amalie Eikeland (Reading, England)
17 Julie Blakstad (Manchester City, England)
18 Frida Leonhardsen Maanum (Arsenal, England)
20 Emilie Haavi (Roma, Italy)


9 Karina Sævik (Vålerenga, Norway)
10 Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona, Spain)
14 Ada Hegerberg (Lyon, France)
21 Anna Jøsendal (Rosenborg, Norway)
22 Sophie Roman Haug (Roma, Italy)

Head coach

Hege Riise

Tips for fans attending games

READ MORE: Going to a game at the FIFA Women’s World Cup? Here are some tips for fans >>>>

More football stories