The 2023 Women’s World Cup is well and truly underway, as all teams have played at least one match, many people are going back to check their pre-tournament predictions and expectations and if they are still valid. One such match that is sure to cause many to change expectations is the Switzerland vs Norway match. This is because co-hosts New Zealand stunned the Gresshoppens on matchday one, picking up an unlikely win and a precious three points to hold on to the second place. Backed by the raucous crowd, New Zealand went out guns blazing right from the first minute and were duly rewarded with an early goal and Norway could not find a way despite the quality of firepower they had in front.
Switzerland, on the other hand, comfortably dispatched the Philippines by two goals to nil, with both goals coming in each half. Ramona Bachmann dispatched a penalty right on the stroke of halftime and winger Seraina Piubel added another in the sixty-fourth minute to end all hopes of a comeback from the Asian country. This result places them top of the group temporarily.
The Norwegians know that a loss against the current group leaders with New Zealand winning or drawing against the Philippines will surely send them packing from the tournament with a match to spare. Head coach Hege Riise will be looking to her record goal scorer and one-time Ballon D’Or Feminim winner Ada Hegerberg of Lyon to brush her New Zealand woes and hit the target against Switzerland, along with fellow forwards Hansen and Reiten. A solid performance and some luck should get them a win, and they will be counting on feminine power to get it.
Switzerland, who is competing in just their second World Cup, will be looking to qualify for the knockout rounds with a win against the Gresshoppens. Head coach Inka Grings is expected to stick with the current starting eleven that brought victory on matchday one and hope to stifle the Norwegians’ creative threat. Lia Wiati will lead as usual from the middle, flanked by Sow. Goal scorer Bachmann will need to be careful in this match as she is on a yellow card. It remains to be seen if this approach and their confidence-boosting win will yield a good result in this match. Confidence can be a game-changer in cup tournaments, and the Swiss have much of that at the moment. Nevertheless, it promises to be an interesting fixture between both sides that will surely highlight the sprit of the Slay-Ballers Campaign in a bid to spread awareness about how females can show the world what they are made of in not just ports but many other careers in the world. Ensure you catch the match tomorrow!