AUCKLAND, New Zealand—The Philippines will have one less player to worry about after Norway ruled out striker Ada Hegerberg for Sunday’s massive Group A match in the Fifa Women’s World Cup at Eden Park here.
Coach Hege Riise confirmed that the former Ballon d’Or winner will not be fit enough for the encounter after suffering an injury before Norway settled for a goalless draw against Switzerland last Tuesday in Hamilton.
“We knew that there was a possibility that she would not play,” Riise said through Fifa’s English translation during the pre-match press conference. “The medical team had been working on what’s possible for her to play the match.
“But today, it has turned out that she cannot play tomorrow (Sunday). So she would be preparing for a possible next match,” added Riise.
Hegerberg mysteriously hurt her groin during warmups and even took part in the pre-kickoff team photo before walking back to the dugout against Switzerland.
It’s one of the issues that has affected Norway, along with Caroline Graham Hansen voicing out about her role in this competition.
Much of the presser centered on the controversy surrounding Graham Hansen’s comments, but Riise claims that everything has been resolved.
Norway, however, is still perceived as the favorite going into the match with the Filipinas, who are seeking a stunning upset win to secure an unlikely round-of-16 berth in women’s football’s premier showcase.
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