EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Lieke Martens’ long strike from outside the box in the first half gave the Netherlands its first ever Women’s World Cup goal and a 1-0 victory over New Zealand on Saturday night.
Martens curled the ball up and over the outstretched arms of New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler in the 33rd minute. Netherlands is one of eight teams making their debut in the World Cup.
The field for World Cup expanded this year to 24 teams, divided into six groups. Saturday was the start of the monthlong tournament, which concludes with the final in Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 5.
Earlier in the day, host Canada opened the tournament with a 1-0 victory over China at Commonwealth Stadium. The Netherlands faces China on Thursday, followed by Canada’s match against New Zealand as the group stage continues.
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