Ada Hegerberg Injured Before the Game
Norway’s star striker, could only watch from the bench as her team played out a draw with Switzerland in Hamilton.
Ada Hegerberg’s abrupt absence from the Norway team during their 0-0 draw with Switzerland at the World Cup sparked various online rumors. The Norwegian national team later confirmed that she had withdrawn from the match due to a groin injury, an unfortunate occurrence just moments before kick-off.
Before the match, the 28-year-old striker participated in the warm-up and stood ready for the national anthems. Just as Norway was breaking from their huddle, Hegerberg hurriedly headed to the locker room.
Victor Bernard, speaking on behalf of Hegerberg’s representatives AV Sports, explained the sequence of events. She said that during the regular warm-up, Ada felt some tightness which she thought would be fine to proceed with into the game, via an email he sent to the Reuters.
But after a few sprints following the anthems and handshakes – something she typically does before the team photo – she felt her groin getting tighter. Immediately, she informed the staff that it would be wiser to have someone in prime condition on the pitch for the game. Unfortunately, this moment wasn’t captured on camera. She genuinely believed she could play the match until those sprints.
The sudden withdrawal led to speculation ranging from illness to a dispute with the Norwegian coaching staff. However, Bernard clarified that Hegerberg’s decision was solely due to the discomfort in her groin.
“Ada would never decline to play without good reason, as she’s not the type of player to jeopardize her team’s chances. She feared that playing with the injury might risk her participation in the World Cup with at least one more game to go,” Bernard emphasized.
Feeling uncertain about how to proceed and not wanting the team to lose a substitution, she headed to the locker room, where she promptly received treatment.
After the game, Ada Hegerberg revealed, “There was a sudden acceleration right before kick-off that caused discomfort. I didn’t want to take any risks. Although I wish I could have contributed, I commend the girls for their hard work. We’re almost there; we just need that final piece we rightly deserve.”
Chances to Advance Now at Risk
Norway had several opportunities to score against Switzerland, with Captain Maren Mjelde’s close-range shot going over the bar, and Sophie Roman Haug’s header being brilliantly saved by Swiss goalkeeper Gaelle Thalmann. Adding to the controversy, Hege Riise, the coach, made the decision to bench another key player, Caroline Graham Hansen, despite her exceptional performance with Barcelona in the domestic season.
With an opening day defeat to tournament co-hosts New Zealand, Norway’s chances of advancing to the knockout stages are now hanging by a thread. Their hopes rest on the recovery of their star striker ahead of the final group match against the Philippines.
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