On a copiously watered ground just before the meeting, Northern Ireland took the water, Thursday in Southampton (4-1), without it being a real surprise. Crushed twice during the qualifiers by Norway, very fair in the distribution of their goals with a 6-0 inflicted on the outward and return legs, this selection started the first major tournament in its history with a big defeat.
Ada Hegerberg’s teammates only allowed their opponents a very limited expression, lacking technical accuracy on most of the attacking balls they had to negotiate. On the other side of the field, they were too often pressed to hold, so the seams of the defense cracked very quickly, when left-back Blakstad, offset by Reiten, struck at the near post and surprised Burns ( 10th).
A match folded at half an hour of play
Maanum, who concluded with the right foot an action born of a very high recovery (2-0, 13th), and Graham Hansen, who converted a penalty (3-0, 31st), quickly took charge of blowing the frail candle of suspense. After the break, Nelson, with a header, took advantage of the opposing procrastination to reduce the score from a corner (3-1, 49th). But Reiten, on a direct free kick (4-1, 54th), thickened the score, which could have been heavier, as Burns multiplied the parades and Hegerberg the efforts, in vain. Mute, the OL star will no doubt be all the more impatient to face England on Monday.