After being named Player of the Match for her performance against Norway, New Zealand’s Hannah Wilkinson declared: “This is the best day of my life.”
The Football Fern, whose 48th-minute goal gave her team an historic first win at a FIFA Women’s World Cup, said:
“Without a doubt. It was the stuff of dreams. It was beyond those dreams, actually.
“The goal is the best moment of my life. What a ball. It was amazing, she (Jacqui Hand) couldn’t have placed it any better. What an amazing feeling.
“It was incredibly emotional.
“I was just so, so proud to be a New Zealander. To see all my fellow New Zealanders going crazy, to know what it means to them, it’s indescribable.
“The support tonight was absolutely phenomenal. The weather wasn’t the nicest — it was cold. For all those Kiwis to come out — for us, for New Zealand — meant everything. It was the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in. Without a doubt.
“Home advantage, we’ve seen before how big it is. Home advantage in New Zealand, it’s something else. The Kiwis were absolutely phenomenal tonight. I’m incredibly grateful. I’m grateful to every single one of them. This was for all of us, our whole country. We did it together.”
Main photo: Hannah Wilkinson accepts her VISA Player of the Match award. Photo credit: FIFA.
Here’s how Hannah Wilkinson’s goal helped create history:
Game played on Thursday July 20, 2023
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
New Zealand 1 (Hannah Wilkinson 48′)