LE HAVRE, France (AP) — Jill Roord came off the bench and scored in stoppage time to give the Netherlands a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in the Women’s World Cup group opener for both teams Tuesday.
The Netherlands, ranked No. 8 in the world, controlled possession throughout the game but couldn’t get by New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler until Roord’s breakthrough header.
The tough loss after a strong defensive effort means 19th-ranked New Zealand is still looking for its first-ever World Cup victory. Tom Sermanni, former coach of the Australia and U.S. national teams, was hired as coach of New Zealand last October in time for the Ferns to qualify for their fifth World Cup.
The Netherlands made its World Cup debut in 2015 and got through to the knockout stage but lost to eventual runner-up Japan. The team has raised it profile since, winning the 2017 Euros.