Injured Hegerberg out of Norway's must-win group clash with Philippines, says coach Riise

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Injured Hegerberg out of Norway's must-win group clash with Philippines, says coach Riise
Injured Hegerberg will be a big miss for Norway
Injured Hegerberg will be a big miss for Norway
Reuters
Norway striker Ada Hegerberg (28) will not play in their must-win Women's World Cup group game against the Philippines after failing to recover from a groin injury in time, coach Hege Riise said on Saturday.

Hegerberg withdrew prior to kickoff in the second game after tweaking her groin in the warm-ups. The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner headed quickly down the tunnel to the locker room before Norway drew 0-0 with Switzerland.

Norway are bottom of Group A with one point and must win to have any chance of qualifying for the last 16, but their fate is not entirely in their hands with the top two sides Switzerland (four points) and New Zealand (three points) playing each other.

"She is not ready for this game, it came too early after her injury," Riise told reporters. "She is preparing for the next game.

"The medical team has worked to see if it would be possible (for her to play). Today it became clear that it is not.

"The rest of us have prepared as well as we can for what we have to do and the group has handled it very well."

Hegerberg said in a statement there was "too little time" to make the lineup for the game against the Philippines.

"But I have faith in this team tomorrow and I will continue to work to be ready for a possible last-16 game," she added.

Norway's World Cup campaign has not been short of drama, especially after winger Caroline Graham Hansen apologised for an outburst directed at the coach after being dropped to the bench for the draw against Switzerland.

Hansen had mentioned she had been removed from the leadership group by Riise last year.

When Riise was asked if Hansen's self-imposed break from the national team in August was to do with that decision, she refused to be drawn into the matter.

"Well, there's Caroline herself who wrote a post. So anything else on my part would be mere speculation," Riise said.

"She posted her message (in August) and she said that she needed some rest."

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