clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ada Hegerberg lives up to expectations in Women's World Cup opener

Norway has a star that can bring them back towards the top of the sport.

Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Ada Hegerberg only scored one goal in Norway's 4-0 win over Thailand on Sunday, but her performance was so much more than that. The 19-year-old striker was the best player on the pitch in her first ever World Cup match, creating just as many chances as she took herself.

Unlike Vivianne Miedema of the Netherlands, this tournament's other team-leading teenager, Hegerberg didn't just look to score or sit on the shoulder of the last defender. She demanded the ball, ran wide and backwards off the ball to create space for her teammates, regularly played through balls for her fellow attackers and looked equally comfortable when the ball was on the ground or in the air. She looked equally comfortable during long spells of possession and on the counter. She had everything.

But despite all that, Hegerberg was unlucky throughout the first hour. She could have scored multiple times, but had a few efforts unluckily blocked, saved, or just miss. But she finally got the monkey off her back in the 68th minute, scoring her first career World Cup goal.

If Norway are going to challenge Germany for the top spot in Group B, they're going to need Hegerberg to be a star. On the evidence of this performance -- albeit against a pretty weak opponent -- she's perfectly capable of that. And now that she's not worried about getting that first goal anymore, she can just play her game.