Inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg scored a hat-trick on her Norway return after five years away from international football.
The Lyon forward quit the national team in 2017 in protest at a perceived lack of respect for female players.
A change of president at the Norwegian Football Federation played a part in the 26-year-old reversing her decision.
And she returned in style, scoring three times in a 5-1 World Cup qualifying win over Kosovo.
Announcing her comeback, Hegerberg – the Women’s Champions League’s all-time leading scorer – said she did not regret the decision to step away from the national team but she was excited to “get a new story started”.
And she did just that following her 1,719-day absence, scoring 21 minutes into her return, heading in Caroline Graham Hansen’s cross.
She doubled Norway’s lead two minutes later with a one-touch finish and completed her hat-trick on the hour mark with a low drive, to the delight of the 4,759 crowd in Sandefjord.
Frida Maanum and Ereleta Memeti were also on target for the hosts, who will hope Hegerberg’s return can inspire them at this summer’s European Championship in England.
The two-time Euros champions will face the hosts, Northern Ireland and Austria in Group A and Hegerberg will be looking to improve on an international scoring record that now stands at 41 goals in 67 appearances.
- Match Stats
- Live Text
- 1FiskerstrandSubstituted forPettersenat 62′minutes
- 4HansenSubstituted forEikelandat 77′minutes
- 18MaanumSubstituted forNaalsundat 62′minutes
- 9HasundSubstituted forTerlandat 61′minutes
- 14HegerbergSubstituted forIldhusøyat 76′minutes
- 22Elde Lie
- 1KolgeciBooked at 83mins
- 11KryeziuSubstituted forGashiat 77′minutes
- 6HisenajSubstituted forCelajat 77′minutes
- 20AvduliSubstituted forSmailiat 72′minutes
- 8ShalaSubstituted forTahiriat 45′minutes
- 10LimaniSubstituted forBiqkajat 78′minutes
- Tanja Subotic
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Norway 5, Kosovo Women 1.
Second Half ends, Norway 5, Kosovo Women 1.
Foul by Vilde Risa (Norway).
Donjeta Halilaj (Kosovo Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Elisabeth Terland (Norway) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lisa Naalsund.
Attempt saved. Karina Sævik (Norway) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Julie Blakstad with a cross.
Offside, Norway. Elisabeth Terland tries a through ball, but Celin Ildhusøy is caught offside.
Offside, Norway. Caroline Hansen tries a through ball, but Julie Blakstad is caught offside.
Karina Sævik (Norway) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Leonora Ejupi (Kosovo Women).
Foul by Elisabeth Terland (Norway).
Marigonë Tahiri (Kosovo Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Caroline Hansen (Norway) hits the left post with a right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left.
Attempt missed. Elisabeth Terland (Norway) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Caroline Hansen with a through ball.
Goal! Norway 5, Kosovo Women 1. Celin Ildhusøy (Norway) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal following a set piece situation.
Penalty saved! Caroline Hansen (Norway) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.
Florentina Kolgeci (Kosovo Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Penalty Norway. Caroline Hansen draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Florentina Kolgeci (Kosovo Women) after a foul in the penalty area.
Corner, Norway. Conceded by Edona Kastrati.