First-half goals from defender CJ Bott and forward Jacqui Hand helped New Zealand end their 10-match winless streak with a victory. Their previous win was a 2-1 friendly victory over Philippines in the United States in September 2022.

Coach Jitka Klimkova expressed the importance of this win and the team’s performance, stating, “This win and this performance were really important for us,” in an interview with Sky Sport NZ.

New Zealand showcased their dominance from the start, taking the lead in the 17th minute with a deflected low shot from Bott outside the box. Just before halftime, an unmarked Hand rounded off a fantastic team move to further solidify New Zealand’s advantage.

The return of veteran midfielder Annalie Longo provided a significant boost for the home side. Longo played the final 20 minutes of the match, marking her first appearance for the team since recovering from a serious knee injury in September.

New Zealand, co-hosting the World Cup alongside Australia, will begin their campaign against former champions Norway in Group A on July 20. This tournament marks New Zealand’s sixth appearance, and they are determined to secure their first victory.

Debutants Vietnam, on the other hand, will face defending champions U.S. in Group E on July 22.

Klimkova acknowledged the tough challenge that Norway poses, but assured that the team will give their all and work hard to make the nation proud. “We know Norway is tough opposition … but we can promise that we will leave everything on the field and we will work hard for this country,” Klimkova added. “We really want to make this nation proud.”