Women's Team

Blakstad on target as Norway win EURO 2022 opener

Julie Blakstad scored as Norway got their EURO 2022 campaign off to a winning start with a 4-1 victory over Northern Ireland.

The versatile 20-year-old opened the scoring at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium, where Frida Maanum, Caroline Graham Hansen and Guro Reiten were also on target in a one-sided affair.

A Northern Ireland side making their major tournament debut still had their moment, though, as Julie Nelson headed home a consolation to net her country’s landmark first goal in an international competition.

Blakstad got Norway off to a fine start, finishing off a slick passing move with a powerful drive inside the near post after 10 minutes and Maanum doubled the lead immediately M with a simple tap-in to punish Northern Ireland’s carelessness in possession.

It was 3-0 before half-time as Caroline Graham Hansen converted a penalty after VAR penalised Nadene Caldwell for a handball from a corner, but Nelson’s history-making goal four minutes after the restart gave Kenny Shiels’ side a glimmer of hope alongside a moment they’ll never forget.

Reiten wrapped up the scoring and the victory before the hour mark, curling a precise 18-yard free-kick into the bottom corner.

Blakstad’s Norway are back in action against England on Monday, when she’ll come up against many of her Manchester City team-mates.