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Women's EURO 2022: Norway vs Northern Ireland match facts, stats, ones to watch

Two-time winners Norway get their Group A campaign under way against Northern Ireland, the only debutants at UEFA Women's EURO 2022.

Norway's: Isabell Herlovsen and Northern Ireland's Ciara Sherwood during the sides' April 2018 meeting
Norway's: Isabell Herlovsen and Northern Ireland's Ciara Sherwood during the sides' April 2018 meeting Getty Images

Norway vs Northern Ireland: Head-to-head

  • The teams also faced each other in qualifying, Norway winning both Group C fixtures by a 6-0 scoreline in 2019. Guro Reiten, a Caroline Graham Hansen hat-trick and Amalie Eikeland's double secured victory in Belfast; Reiten and Graham Hansen twice also struck in Stavanger, along with two from Lisa-Marie Utland and another from Ingrid Syrstad Engen.
  • Norway have won six of the sides' seven encounters, including each of the last five.
  • Northern Ireland's only victory in this fixture came in qualifying for Women's EURO 2013, Kirsty McGuinness, Ashley Hutton and Rachel Furness earning a 3-1 win in Lurgan in November 2011.
  • Norway will be appearing at their 12th UEFA Women's EURO, the joint most in the competition's history alongside Italy.
  • Martin Sjögren's side qualified for their 12th EURO in a row with a flawless preliminary campaign – winning all their six matches to top Group C, scoring 34 goals and conceding only one.
  • Northern Ireland reached their first major tournament with a 4-1 aggregate play-off victory against Ukraine in April 2021 (2-1 a, 2-0 h) having finished as runners-up to Norway in their section by virtue of a superior head-to-head record against Wales.
  • Norway lifted the trophy in two of their first four EURO appearances. They triumphed as hosts on their debut in 1987, beating reigning champions Sweden in the showpiece, and overcame hosts Italy in the decider six years later.
  • The Grasshoppers will be hoping to avoid successive Women's EURO group stage exits for the first time, having lost all their Group A matches in the Netherlands last time out. Norway's only other failure to reach at least the last four came in 1997, when they finished third in their group behind Italy and Germany.
  • Norway have twice reached the final since their most recent EURO title in 1993, losing to Germany in both England in 2005 and Sweden in 2013.
Norway vs Northern Ireland: Live coverage

Ones to watch: Norway

Norway's Caroline Graham Hansen
Norway's Caroline Graham Hansen BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Caroline Graham Hansen

  • The 27-year-old has struck in each of her last four appearances against Northern Ireland, a total of eight goals – including a hat-trick in the 6-0 EURO 2022 qualifying win in Belfast in August 2019.
  • The forward featured in every game as Norway were beaten finalists at EURO 2013, winning a penalty in the final – Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer saving Solveig Gulbrandsen's spot kick.
  • Graham Hansen is yet to register her first UEFA Women's EURO goal despite starting all three matches as Norway were eliminated in the group stage in 2017.
  • The Barcelona attacker hit ten goals in qualifying for this tournament; only Belgium's Tine De Caigny (12) scored more.

Ada Hegerberg

  • The 26-year-old made her senior Norway debut as a substitute in the 3-1 defeat against Northern Ireland in November 2011.
  • The forward hit a hat-trick on her return to the national side after almost five years away in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying win against Kosovo on 7 April.
  • Hegerberg started all six matches as Norway were runners-up at EURO 2013, scoring her only finals goal to date in the 3-1 quarter-final victory against Spain.
  • The Lyon striker scored and assisted in a 3-1 win against Barcelona in the UEFA Women's Champions League final on 21 May, also hitting ten league goals as OL won the French title.

Guro Reiten

  • The 27-year-old has scored more international goals against Northern Ireland than any other opponents, hitting four in as many appearances.
  • She struck four goals in qualifying for this tournament, Norway's third highest total behind Graham Hansen (ten) and Isabell Herlovsen (five).
  • Reiten helped Chelsea win the Women's Super League and FA Cup double in 2021/22, and was named in this season's Professional Footballers' Association WSL Team of the Year.
  • The winger finished as the leading scorer in the Norwegian top flight in both 2017 and 2018, winning the title in each of her three seasons with LSK Kvinner between 2017 and 2019.

Ones to watch: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's Rachel Furness
Northern Ireland's Rachel FurnessGetty Images

Rachel Furness

  • The 34-year-old scored Northern Ireland's third goal in a 3-1 victory against Norway in November 2011.
  • Furness was Northern Ireland's leading scorer in qualifying with five goals, including a fifth-minute opener in the 2-1 first-leg play-off victory in Ukraine.
  • The midfielder is the Green and White Army's top scorer in 2023 Women's World Cup qualifying with seven goals.
  • Furness helped Liverpool win promotion to the Women's Super League in 2021/22and surpassed David Healy's national scoring record on 29 November, taking her total to 38 goals with a double in the Women's World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia.

Kirsty McGuinness

  • The 27-year-old scored her first international goal with the opener in Northern Ireland's 3-1 EURO 2013 qualifying win against Norway in November 2011.
  • McGuinness struck a hat-trick in the Women's World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia on 29 November.
  • The attacker made her senior international debut aged just 15 years 262 days in a 3-0 Women's World Cup qualifying win against Estonia in July 2010.
  • Younger sibling Caitlin is a fellow Northern Ireland international, the pair becoming the first sisters to represent the national side together in the same match in December 2020; both got on the scoresheet in a 5-1 EURO 2022 qualifying win against the Faroe Islands.

Julie Nelson

  • The 37-year-old was the only Northern Ireland player to play every minute in qualifying, including the play-off win against Ukraine.
  • The centre-back rates Norway's Caroline Graham Hansen as her most difficult opponent in recent years.
  • The defender became the first women's footballer to win 100 caps for Northern Ireland in September 2018.
  • Nelson made her senior international debut aged 18 in a March 2004 friendly against Portugal.
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