New Zealand players celebrate after winning their first-ever match at the FIFA Women's World Cup ©Getty Images

New Zealand captain Ali Riley said the victims of the tragic shooting were in their thoughts as they secured an historic win on the opening day of the FIFA Women’s World Cup at Eden Park in Auckland.

Hannah Wilkinson scored the only goal as co-hosts New Zealand defeated former winner Norway 1-0 to register their first-ever victory in the tournament.

The triumph came just hours after two people were killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire.

The offender, who is suspected to be 24-year-old Matu Tangi Matua Reid, also died during the incident that took place at a construction site.

"This morning something really tragic happened and we wanted to bring something positive tonight," said Riley.

"We thought of the victims and the first responders.

"They made us so proud and we just wanted to help bring something amazing today."

Norway created the first opportunities as Frida Maanum fired over before Rebekah Stott produced a last-ditch tackle to thwart Ada Hegerberg.

New Zealand opened the scoring just minutes before the break when a superb move ended with Wilkinson thumping home.

Norway went close to levelling in the second period when Tuva Hansen forced a fine save from Victoria Esson following her long-range effort.

A handball by Hansen in the box gave New Zealand a penalty in the closing stages.

Ria Percival fired her spot kick against the crossbar but it did not come back to haunt New Zealand who saw out nine minutes of stoppage time to secure the Group A win.

"I still have goosebumps," said New Zealand coach Jitka Klimkova.

"It’s an incredible feeling.


"Before the game, this was one of the most focused moments I’ve ever seen from our team.

"From the first minute, the players were fighting for us, for the country.

"It was very well deserved.

"New Zealand has waited for this for such a long time."

There was also a win for fellow hosts Australia who were forced to dig deep to beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

Without star striker Sam Kerr due to injury, Australia struggled to find the cutting edge needed to break down the stubborn Irish defence in the opening period.

Australia plugged away and were rewarded six minutes into the second half when Hayler Raso was taken down by Marissa Sheva in the penalty area.

Steph Catley stepped up to score from the spot.

The Republic of Ireland tried to find a response but Australia held firm as Megan Connolly’s free kick whistled over before Katie McCabe missed a chance in the dying seconds.

"[The penalty] was a big moment," said Catley.

"I’ve been practising a lot, and I do like taking set pieces. I took a deep breath and luckily it went in.

"I think you could see [the anxiety].

"We were nervy and probably didn’t play as calmly as we normally do.

"But to be fair, Ireland were fantastic.

"They put us under pressure, they won corners, they played their game really, really well.

"There were some nervy moments we’ll look to clean up."

Competition is due to continue tomorrow with the Philippines meeting Switzerland in Group A, Canada taking on Nigeria in Group B and Spain facing Costa Rica in Group C.