Pre-match nerves forced Norway defender Mathilde Harviken to seek specialist help ahead of her side’s 1-0 upset loss to New Zealand in the opening game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
She told a media briefing she had expected butterflies before her first World Cup appearance but was taken aback by the way she was affected.
“I can honestly admit that I was nervous before the start of the match. It was something completely different from what I’ve experienced before,” she said.
“I was very prepared for it to be like that, but I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Main photo: Mathilde Harviken (16) … pre-match nerves were worse than expected. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Harviken (21) sought help from Norway’s sports psychologist Morten Asli, and took advice from her team’s experienced players.
“Everyone was very clear that I should do things as normal and not make it into something bigger than it actually was.”
The loss to New Zealand means Norway badly need a positive result in their next group game, against Switzerland in Hamilton on Tuesday.
Game to be played on Tuesday July 25, 2023
Norway v Switzerland
FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, 8pm (NZT)