Ada Hegerberg marks Norway return with a hattrick

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Ada Hegerberg marks Norway return with a hattrick

Ada Hegerberg marked her return to international duty with Norway by scoring a hattrick against Kosovo in their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification match.

The Inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or winner returned after five years away from international football. The Lyon forward quit the national side in 2017 in protest against what she perceived as a lack of respect for female players.

But the 26-year-old reversed her decision after Lise Klaveness was elected president of the Norwegian Football Federation.

With all the noise behind her, the Women’s Champions League’s all-time leading scorer added three goals to help her side win 5-1 at home.

She took just 21 minutes to shake off the 1,719-day rust by heading in Caroline Graham Hansen’s cross.

She doubled Norway’s lead just 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 Celin Bizet Ildhusøy were also on target for the hosts, who will hope Hegerberg’s return can inspire them at this summer’s European Championship in England.

Ereleta Memeti managed a solitary goal for the visitors. 

Norway will next face Poland in the same competition.

The two-time Euros champions will face the hosts (England), Northern Ireland, and Austria in Group A in July and Ada Hegerberg will be looking to improve on an international scoring record that now stands at 41 goals in 67 appearances.

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