Ada Hegerberg Optimistic Ahead of Norway vs. Switzerland Clash in Women's World Cup
Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg is optimistic about her team's chances as they prepare to face Switzerland in their Women's World Cup clash in Hamilton on Tuesday. Coach Hege Riise is planning to make some changes to the squad following their defeat by New Zealand.
In the tournament's opening game last Thursday, the co-hosts surprised Norway with an early goal in the second half, securing their first World Cup win after 16 attempts.
According to reports from Norwegian state broadcaster NRK on Monday, Riise is likely to drop the Champions League-winning Barcelona duo, winger Caroline Graham Hansen and midfielder Ingrid Syrstad Engen, in pursuit of a much-needed victory.
Hegerberg, who returned from a self-imposed exile for the European Championship last year, where her team suffered an 8-0 humiliation by England and crashed out in the group stage, acknowledged that Norway's chances of controlling their destiny are running out.
Despite the challenging situation, Hegerberg expressed her excitement about the upcoming game and emphasized the importance of remaining positive and enjoying the sport.
"We have put ourselves in a difficult position, (but) at the same time, it's a football match and things can turn quickly, and personally that's why I've been looking forward to this game," Hegerberg said during a press conference on Monday.
Graham Hansen, who had been dealing with a sore throat, has recovered but is still expected to be dropped along with Engen, who faced challenges as Norway's midfield pivot against New Zealand.
Hegerberg acknowledged Graham Hansen's significance as a player for the team, emphasizing the importance of everyone being fit and ready for the match.
After the first round of games, Switzerland leads Group A on goal difference, followed by co-hosts New Zealand, with Norway in third place and the Philippines in fourth. Defender Tuva Hansen expressed the team's determination to showcase their true potential.
"It will be a tough match, but I'm looking forward to the next game so we can prove how good we really are," Hansen told reporters. "We want to show the Norwegian culture and that it should be tough to play against us."