Women’s World Cup Preview: Group A up for grabs as Norway, hosts New Zealand lead way

Women's World Cup 2023
FILE – The United States players hold the trophy as they celebrate winning the Women’s World Cup final soccer match against The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France on July 17, 2019. More prize money than ever will be awarded at this year’s Women’s World Cup, and the players stand to get direct payments from FIFA this time. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on Thursday. The ninth edition of the tournament travels to Australia and New Zealand from July 20-Aug. 20 and promises to be the most widely watched one to date. The defending champions, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) will open their campaign against Vietnam on Saturday, July 22.

There are eight groups consisting of four nations, each country will play every team in their group once. The top two teams in each group will then move on to the knockout stages of the tournament.

Stick with amNewYork for all of your coverage for the biggest sporting event of the summer.


2023 Women’s World Cup Preview: Group A

New Zealand 

New Zealand Women's World Cup
New Zealand players celebrate their first goal during the New Zealand and Vietnam warm-up match ahead of the women’s World Cup in Napier, New Zealand, Monday, July 10, 2023. (AP Photo/John Cowpland)
  • Nickname: Ferns/All Blacks
  • FIFA Rank: 26th
  • World Cup appearances: 6th
  • Best finish: T-Last

The co-hosts have played in five Women’s World Cups (WWC), without ever winning a game. They will hope to put an end to their losing record against Norway in the opening fixture of the tournament. The All Blacks, led by 35-year-old veteran captain Ali Riley, will hope home advantage will help them progress past the group stages. They will also be encouraged by some new stars on the team like Gabi Rennie, who won bronze at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2018.



Ada Hegerberg Norway Women's World Cup
FILE – Norway’s Ada Hegerberg takes a shot during the Women Euro 2022 group A soccer match between Austria and Norway at Brighton & Hove Community Stadium in Brighton, England, Friday, July 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)
  • Nickname: The Grasshoppers
  • FIFA Rank: 12th
  • World Cup appearances: 9th
  • Best finish: Champions (1995)

The Norwegians are one of the four teams ever to win a Women’s World Cup, with a victory over Germany in the 1995 Final. The team’s star player throughout their golden years, Hege Riise, was appointed head coach in Aug. 2022. While this team has yet to reach the heights of their 1990s predecessors, they have shown signs of improvement with solid performances against France and England recently. 



  • Nickname: Filipinas
  • FIFA Rank: 46th
  • World Cup appearances: 1st
  • Best finish: N/A

The Philippines beat Thailand, Indonesia, and Chinese Taipei to qualify for their first-ever World Cup. This debut tournament marks a spectacular rise in Filipino football since the appointment of Australian head coach, Alen Stajcic,  in 2021. The ‘Filipinas’— who are currently ranked 46th in the world — will hope to make a statement in their WWC debut against Switzerland in Dunedin Stadium on Friday. 



Switzerland World Cup
Switzerland’s Seereina Piubel, left and Iman Beney celebrate during the soccer match between Switzerland and Zambia, at the Tissot Arena in Biel, Switzerland, Friday June 30, 2023. (Marcel Bieri/Keystone via AP)
  • Nickname: La Nati
  • FIFA Rank: 20th
  • World Cup appearances: 2nd
  • Best finish: Round of 16 (2015)

The Swiss are looking to build on the 2015 Women’s World Cup when they reached the Round of 16. They are ranked 20th in the world entering their second WWC after a disappointing group stage exit from the Euros last year. The formidable trio of captain Lia Wälti, PSG’s Ramona Bachmann, and Barcelona’s Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic are the driving force of this Swiss side. They have also added some youth to their squad as 16-year-old Iman Beney could become the youngest Swiss player to feature in a WWC.

For more on the 2023 Women’s World Cup, visit AMNY.com