Norway began their 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ campaign in confident fashion with a 4-0 win over debutants Thailand in Ottawa.
Isabell Herlovsen netted a first-half double as Norway raced to a 3-0 half-time lead while there were goals also for Trine Ronning and the free-running Ada Hegerberg.
The match was, as expected, dominated by the experienced Europeans, yet it was the south-east Asians that could have netted five minutes into their first-ever game. However, Silawan Intamee just failed to make the contact she needed from point-block range after a burst of speed down the right flank from Kanjana Sung-Ngoen.
Norway soon took a stranglehold and Hegerberg pinged a towering header off the post from a perfect Herlovsen ball.
Veteran skipper Ronning, playing in her fourth Women’s World Cup, broke the deadlock by curling a free-kick around the wall and inside the near post.
Herlovsen soon doubled the advantage after Norway short-passed their way into the penalty area and the No9 coolly slotted home low through a sea of legs for her first Women’s World Cup in eight years.
Within four minutes Herlovsen doubled her personal tally with a close-range header thanks to an inch-perfect cross from Solveig Gulbrandsen
The one-way traffic continued after the break and Hegerberg clipped the near post with a mishit cross, before then glancing a shot just wide after ghosting in at the near post.
Hegerberg got her reward midway through the half with the 19-year-old netting from close range after a run down the left flank.
Thailand received a boost of sorts with a quarter of an hour remaining as goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing made a smart save to block Maren Mjelde’s penalty awarded for handball.
The War Elephants even came within inches of a goal after hitting the crossbar with a long-range speculative effort in the final minute.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Isabell Herlovsen (Norway)