Women’s World Cup spotlight on Australia

 New Zealand’s Football Ferns are aiming to win fans as well as matches at the Women's World Cup. New Zealand kicks off the Women’s World Cup on Thursday night local time with a game against Norway. 



July 19, 2023 - 2:23 PM

In this photo from July 7, 2019, Megan Rapinoe of the USA lifts the trophy as USA celebrate victory during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United State of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images/TNS)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — In a country known more for its love of rugby than women’s soccer, New Zealand is aiming to win fans as well as matches.

The Football Ferns kick off the Women’s World Cup on Thursday night with a Group A match against Norway. The Ferns got the nod for the tournament opener and will be followed by co-host Australia’s match against Ireland in Sydney.

“I hope there will be a lot of people here for not just our games, but all of the games. It’s a world tournament and something we’ve been so excited to have here now. I’ve been looking forward to this for three years,” defender Ali Riley said. “So I hope the excitement is there and I hope we do well, so that maybe the people who didn’t know about it will hear about it and will want to come to see us make history.”

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