Sports Desk, Jul 7 (EFE).- Norway got off to a great start in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, pounding Northern Ireland 4-1 on Thursday to edge ahead of host nation England in Group A by virtue of better goal difference.
The Lionesses, who beat Austria 1-0 Wednesday in the tournament opener, will face the Norwegians next Monday at Brighton & Hove Community Stadium.
Northern Ireland, playing in their first major competition, shipped six goals in two matches against Norway in the qualifiers, so nobody was shocked to see the Nordic side jump out to a 2-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.
Julie Blakstad drew first blood, scoring in the 10th minute on a play that began with a throw-in.
The 2-0 came just three minutes on the counter courtesy of Frida Maanum, assisted by Ada Hegerberg, 2018 winner of the women’s Ballon d’Or.
Maanum went on to force a fine save from goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns – she would finish the night with six stops – before Nadine Caldwell incurred in a clumsy hand ball in the area on a corner.
The referee pointed to the spot and Caroline Graham Hansen converted to make it 3-0 in the 31st minute.
Julie Nelson pulled back a goal for Northern Ireland four minutes into the second half, taking advantage of some confusion at the back for Norway to head home off a corner.
But Guro Reiten restored the three-goal margin five minutes later, getting the better of Burns with a free kick.
Hegerberg scored in the 69th minute, but the goal was disallowed for an offside.
Friday will see the start of action in the Women’s Euro 2022 “group of death,” as Spain battle Finland and German face Denmark.