FIFA Women's World Cup
New Zealand makes history by being ousted in group stage, as Group A is settled
FIFA Women's World Cup

New Zealand makes history by being ousted in group stage, as Group A is settled

Updated Jul. 30, 2023 6:28 a.m. ET

New Zealand suffered the heartbreak of becoming the first Women's World Cup host to be eliminated at the group stage, despite battling to a 0-0 draw against Switzerland amid frenetic scenes in Dunedin, New Zealand, on Sunday.

Jacqui Hand hit the post in the first half, but the Football Ferns could get no closer and were condemned to an early exit by Norway's 6-0 thumping of the Philippines, taking place simultaneously in Auckland.

Switzerland vs. New Zealand highlights

Ultimately, it was the Swiss who won Group A without conceding a single goal, even though they were unable to score themselves in either of their last two matches, while Norway managed to overcome the injury absence of superstar Ada Hegerberg and all kinds of turmoil in the camp, to secure a round-of-16 place.


New Zealand, having beaten Norway 1-0 in the tournament opener, was left to rue the huge upset it suffered against the Philippines, which costly it dearly in the final reckoning.

Co-host Australia will try to avoid the same fate when it completes Group B action against Canada on Monday. Since 1991, all eight prior hosts advanced to the knockout phase.

For Norway, there was finally some positivity in a difficult campaign worsened by the ongoing injury absence of star forward Hegerberg. Sophie Roman Haug scored a superb hat-trick, hitting the target twice in the first 17 minutes to provide a speedy start, and finishing things off with her third in the closing stages. 

Caroline Graham Hansen, who has been at odds with head coach Hege Riise, smashed home a fine effort from long range, an own goal from the Philippines' Alicia Barker added another, and Guro Reiten converted a penalty kick on 53 minutes.

Norway-Philippines highlights

Norway will now face the winner of Group C, which will be decided by a pivotal clash between Spain and Japan. Switzerland will face the second-place team from the same group.

Any time a host nation is eliminated from a World Cup, there is some inherent sadness and neutrals around the soccer globe unquestionably developed a soft spot for New Zealand, which was applauded off the pitch by the fans at the end, as a roller-coaster ride of drama and emotion finally came to an end.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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