Oceania Football Confederation > News > FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Azerbaijan 2012 > Points crucial to Young Football Ferns campaign

Points crucial to Young Football Ferns campaign

The Young Football Ferns take on Mexico in the opening match of Group C which also contains Japan and Brazil.
Following on from the Junior Football Ferns strong showing at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, the U-17s will look to go one step further and become the first Kiwi age-group women’s side to progress from the group stage.
In Temple’s mind, getting points on the board in their first match of a tough group is crucial to that target.
“It is essential to get something out of the match and set ourselves up for a decent shot at qualifying for the quarter-finals,” says Temple, in his second stint as Young Football Ferns coach after guiding them in the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand four years ago.
Ironically, it was Mexico who denied the Junior Football Ferns that opportunity in Japan but Temple says they have not put any specific emphasis on that match.
“We haven’t focussed on the U-20s match but it’s been mentioned as a reference point for sure. We have done a fair bit of analysis on Mexico and we’re confident we have come up with a plan and way to combat them,” Temple says.
The top two teams from each group with advance to the knockout stage, a feat only achieved once in New Zealand women’s football history, by the Football Ferns at the recent Olympic Games.
Having enjoyed a brief training camp in the Swiss Alps, Temple and his charges have spent the last few days getting used to their new surroundings in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
“It’s an amazing city, cosmopolitan, lively and the people are friendly. We’ve been looked after really well,” Temple says.
“We had about 200 local kids training next door to us and they stopped their session to watch us, it was good for the girls to experience.”
Many of the facilities are brand new for the World Cup and, unlike other FIFA events, the organisers in Azerbaijan have proposed matches be played in smaller, boutique stadiums. New Zealand’s opening match will be played at Bayil Stadium which has a capacity of 3,200.
With over 2,000 tickets already sold for the opening match day, the atmosphere is set to be electric, an experience Temple is looking forward to.
“We’d much rather play in front of a crowd of 2,000 in a 3,200 capacity stadium than the same number in a 32,000 seater like at other tournaments,” Temple says.
Bayil Stadium features an artificial pitch, a fact that doesn’t seem to trouble the Young Football Ferns given their regular training venue at North Harbour Stadium.
“It’s a little different to what we are used to at home, it feels a bit more grassy, but it’s a lovely surface and we’ll enjoying playing on it,” Temple says.
In terms of the playing stocks, only CJ Bott is under an injury cloud and may not be considered for the match.
New Zealand’s match against Mexico kicks off at 10pm on Sunday (NZT) with live coverage on Sky Sport 2.
FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
New Zealand v Mexico
Bayil Stadium, Baku
September 23
3pm (10pm NZT)
Live on Sky Sport 2 from 9.48pm
New Zealand: (from) 1-Lily ALFELD (gk), 2-Meikayla MOORE, 3-Laura MERRIN, 4-CJ BOTT, 5-Emily JENSEN, 6-Hannah CARLSEN, 7-Jasmine PEREIRA, 8-Daisy CLEVERLEY, 9-Martine PUKETAPU, 10-Emma FLETCHER, 11-Briar PALMER, 12-Megan ROBERTSON, 13-Megan LEE, 14-Jessica INNES, 15-Lauren DABNER, 16-Ronisa LIPI (gk), 17-Emily OOSTERHOF, 18-Emma ROLSTON, 19-Tayla CHRISTENSEN, 20-Emma TAYLOR (gk), 21-Courtney VAN LIESHOUT
Coach: Paul TEMPLE
Mexico: (from) 1-Gabriela PAZ (gk), 2-Jaqueline RODRIGUEZ, 3-Jessica VALADEZ, 4-Jocelyn OREJEL, 5-Paulina SOLIS, 6-Karla NIETO, 7-Taylor ALVARADO, 8-Greta ESPINOZA, 9-Luz DUARTE, 10-Cynthia PINEDA, 11-Samantha ARELLANO, 12-Esthefanny BARRERAS (gk), 13-Paola URBIETA, 14-Fernanda PEREZ, 15-Mariana CADENA, 16-Michelle GONZALEZ, 17-Natalie RIVAS, 18-Hallie HERNANDEZ, 19-Gabriela ALVAREZ, 20-Jenny CHIU, 21-Adela MEZA (gk)
Coach: Christopher CUELLAR
New Zealand schedule
New Zealand v Mexico
Bayil Stadium, Baku
September 23
3pm (10pm NZT)
Live on Sky Sport 2 from 9.48pm
New Zealand v Japan
8km Stadium, Baku
September 26
8pm (3am 27/9 NZT)
Live on Sky Sport 1 from 2:48am
New Zealand v Brazil
8km Stadium, Baku
September 30
2pm (9pm NZT)
Sky Sport coverage TBC
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For more on New Zealand Football visit www.nzfootball.co.nz

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