Inaugural game in New Zealand, Aussies enter the race… Matches scheduled for Thursday

In this first day of competitions in New Zealand and Australia, Thursday the two host nations of the World Cup will open the dance, respectively against Norway and Ireland.


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New Zealander Catherine Bott and Australian Ellie Carpenter are shortlisted for the 2023 World Cup. (MAXPPP)

The beginning of a month of football on the oceanic continent. The 2023 World Cup kicks off on Thursday 20 July with the two inaugural meetings of the competition co-hosts. While the official opener has been awarded to New Zealand, who take on Norway, attention will be at least equally focused on Sydney, where the Matildas host Ireland.

9am: New Zealand-Norway (France 2)

Auckland’s Eden Park goes into football mode. The All Blacks’ usual den hosts the first poster match between this group A favorites New Zealand and Norway. If this is their sixth World Cup appearance, the Football Ferns are still looking for a first crown in the competition.

On the other hand, it is certainly not that the partner of the Lyonnais Ada Hegerberg, who was absent from the last 2019 World Cup due to a boycott, does not feel this way. Quarter-finals in France, the Scandinavians have to wash away the affront represented by the elimination from the groups of the last European Championship, with a searing 8-0 defeat against England.

12.00: Australia-Ireland (W9)

In Group B, Australia has to negotiate well into the tournament against the Irish. Before the clash, all the signals are green for the locals, strong of the last victory against France (1-0), who in turn had eliminated Ireland at the beginning of July (3-0). Sam Kerr’s Matildas will also be able to count on a large audience won over to his cause.

Faced with massive demand, the organizers moved the match from the pregnant Allianz Stadium sidneo 42,500 seats, at Stadium Australia, a stadium that can accommodate up to 80,000 people, where the final will take place in a month’s time.

It should be noted that the Irish team stopped his last match preparation against Colombia after twenty-three minutes last Friday, the meeting has become “too crude”. Midfielder Denise O’Sullivan was notably shot in the shinbone.

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