Norway routs Northern Ireland 4-1 to open women’s Euros bid

Twice champions Norway crushed debutants Northern Ireland 4-1 on Thursday as both teams got their Women’s European Championship campaign underway in an entertaining match.

Norway, which has twice reached the final since its most recent title in 1993, looked confident throughout the game and took the lead before the 10-minute mark through midfielder Julie Blakstad.

Frida Maanum doubled the advantage three minutes after receiving a neat pass from 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and Caroline Graham Hansen made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in the 31st minute.

Defender Julie Nelson, Northern Ireland’s most capped player, pulled one back for the only first-timers at the 2022 tournament just after halftime, nodding home from the edge of the six-yard box.

Midfielder Guro Reiten lashed a free-kick past goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns five minutes later to restore Norway’s three-goal lead and inflict a heavy loss on Northern Ireland in its first match at a major tournament.

Norway moved top of Group A ahead of second-placed England, who are also on three points following their 1-0 win over Austria on Wednesday.

Norway plays England on Monday in Brighton.

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