Kenny Shiels’ first game as Northern Ireland manager ended in disappointment as Norway ran out 6-0 winners in their Euro 2021 qualifying opener at Seaview.
Guro Reiten opened the scoring before Caroline Hansen lit up the Shore Road with a fine hat-trick.
Substitute Amalie Eikeland completed the rout with two late goals to give Norway three points in north Belfast.
Individual errors cost the hosts four goals while Hansen produced a brilliant solo effort to score her second.
Northern Ireland will look to bounce back on Monday night when they face Wales in Newport.
Norway opened the scoring after just five minutes when Jackie Burns got caught taking too long on the ball, allowing Reiten to slide in and poke the ball over the line.
The Northern Ireland goalkeeper made up for that error when she denied Lisa-Marie Utland with a strong stop at her near post.
However, the World Cup quarter-finalists doubled their advantage when another mix-up at the back allowed Hansen to pounce. Ashley Hutton’s under-hit back-pass meant Burns could only clear to the Hansen, who finished confidently into the bottom corner.
The home side refused to lie down, however, in front a great turnout at Seaview and caused the Norway defence plenty of problems with their crosses from wide areas after the break as Sarah McFadden headed over from Demi Vance’s pass.
Although Shiels will be disappointed with the manner in which Norway scored their first two goals, there was little the NI back-line could do about the third, as Hansen picked up the ball and skipped past Hutton and Julie Nelson before finding the far corner just after the hour.
Substitute Eikeland added two more to wrap up a comprehensive victory on a tough night for Northern Ireland.
‘It’s the start of our journey’ – Shiels
“There was a lot of learning tonight,” Shiels said.
“I’m really proud of our effort – we gave them four goals that they didn’t have to work but I’m delighted at the commitment. We have to work to get the girls more athletic – we haven’t got enough athletic players to compete against a side like Norway.
“It’s the start of our journey – I’m pleased with our commitment levels, but now we need to work on the fitness and technical aspects.”