Chelsea defender Maren Mjelde captained Norway as they recorded a resounding 3-0 victory over Nigeria in Reims this evening.
The Blues’ summer signing Guro Reiten played a starring role in the victory while Maria Thorisdottir also started for Martin Sjogren’s side at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.
After a scrappy start, Norway took the lead in the 17th minute when some nice work from Caroline Graham Hansen created the opportunity for new Chelsea attacker Reiten to take aim and she hit a low effort into the bottom corner of the net.
Staying in the game was Nigeria’s immediate challenge but they fell two goals down 17 minutes later when Reiten set up Lisa-Marie Utland to thump the ball into the roof of the net before the unfortunate Osinachi Ohale diverted an Isabell Herlovsen cross into her own net to hand Norway a three-goal advantage going into the break.
The second half was starved of good goalscoring opportunities, although most of them went Nigeria’s way. Asisat Oshoala had a great chance to pull a goal back but she failed to get clean contact on a ball into the box before the same player beat Norwegian keeper Ingrid Hjelmseth to the ball but could not direct her shot on target.
Norway rallied late on but both Elise Thorsnes and Graham Hansen wasted good opportunities to score as the scoreline remained 3-0.
Sjogren’s Norway side will now take on tournament hosts France while Nigeria will face South Korea in Group A.