Oceania Football Confederation > News > FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 > Junior Football Ferns fate in own hands

Junior Football Ferns fate in own hands

Sitting in third place behind Paraguay, the Kiwis must secure all three points from their final group match with winless Costa Rica to have any hope of advancing to the last eight.
Despite France already assuring themselves of a place in the quarter-finals following their 4-0 thrashing of New Zealand, Les Bleuettes remains hot favourites to sweep aside the South Americans in their final game in Edmonton, a result that would give New Zealand’s chances a massive boost.
“For us, the next game is crucial,” New Zealand coach Aaron McFarland says,”Paraguay gave us some problems but we dealt with them very well.”
“We have seen Costa Rica a couple of times and we know that every team gets better as the tournament progresses. The mental side of the game will be important’’
In Paraguay’s case, they will progress with a win – providing they too maintain their goal-difference superiority over New Zealand – or a draw if the Kiwis miss out on a victory.
That leaves the Junior Football Ferns destiny firmly in their own hands when they clash with Las Ticas. The Costa Ricans need to prevail by a handsome margin and hope Paraguay lose, with their chances diminished by a pair of reverses thus far.
New Zealand has experienced first round exits at each of the last four editions of the tournament with the 2008 elimination perhaps the most painful when a goal by England’s Toni Duggan four minutes into stoppage time of their final group match enough to tip the Kiwis out.
Two years ago, New Zealand needed just a point in its final match with Mexico to advance. But the Junior Football Ferns capitulated in a horror show losing four second half goals to the Central Americans, a result that saw Mexico leapfrog them into the last eight.
The Oceanians mission won’t be made any easier with three players walking a suspension tightrope with Catherine Bott, Emily Jensen and Meikayla Moore sitting on one caution each heading into the match.
A booking for any of these players means they miss the quarter-finals should the Kiwis advance.
Costa Rica coach Carlos Avedissian lamented two defeats and an absence of good fortune.
“We should have drawn our last match to have a better starting position from which to compete for the quarter final spot. Mathematically, though, it is still possible.’’
The winner of New Zealand’s section faces the runner-up of Group C on Sunday 17 August in Montreal, a slot which is currently locked tight with England and Mexico level on goals for and against with two points each. Nigeria top the table.
The match between the winner of Group C and runner-up of Group D is played the same day in Moncton.
The referee trio for New Zealand’s match with Costa Rica hails from Finland and will be led by referee Kirsi Heikkinen with the assistant referees Anu Jokela and Tonja Paavola.
The fourth official is Hyang Ok Ri of Korea DPR.
New Zealand and Costa Rica have never previously met at this level of competition.
Match Details
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014
Group D
National Soccer Stadium
Toronto, Canada
Thursday 14 August, 2014
Costa Rica v New Zealand
Kick-off: 9am NZST
LIVE on SKY Sport 2 (New Zealand only)
Ends

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