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Football Ferns set for friendly fixtures in California

New Zealand's Football Ferns are heading to California next month. Photo credit: NZF/Photosport.

 New Zealand’s women’s football team will continue preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Australia/New Zealand 2023™ with games against Mexico and the Philippines in Los Angeles for the FIFA September international window.

The Football Ferns will play Mexico on September 2 (September 3 NZT) at Dignity Health Sports Park and the Philippines on September 6 (September 7 NZT) at Titan Stadium.

With an eye on the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 draw in October, when the Ferns will discover their group opponents for next year’s tournament, these games offer the team an important opportunity to continue preparing against a range of styles of play says head coach Jitka Klimková.

The Ferns have played FIFA ranked 36 side Mexico four times, with their first clash played at the 2011 Cyprus Cup.

“Mexico have a good balance between possession and transition, and are very organised in defence,” she says.

“They are very technical, creative, and good on the flanks with their combinations. On attack they’re always looking to put the crosses into the opposition box, so we will be prepared for how we know Mexico has historically played,” she says.

“I know they had tough time at the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship and didn’t get the results they were after, but Mexico is a team that can surprise anybody.”

This will be the first time the Ferns have played the Philippines, currently number 53 on FIFA’s rankings, their highest ranking to date, ahead of their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance.

“Philippines play a little bit differently – they don’t have a traditional style of play like South Korea, Japan or China. We will study them and prepare our players to respond to the challenge,” Klimková notes.

Klimková has announced a 22-player squad for the fixtures, including former Australia representative Indiah-Paige Riley for the first time.

Ford Football Ferns squad for September window (name; club; caps/goals)

Elizabeth Anton; Perth Glory, Australia; 10/0
Mackenzie Barry; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ; 0/0
CJ Bott; Leicester City, England; 34/1
Claudia Bunge; Melbourne Victory FC, Australia; 11/0
Olivia Chance; Celtic FC, Scotland; 32/1
Daisy Cleverley; HB Køge, Denmark; 22/2
Victoria Esson; Rangers FC, Scotland; 8/0
Ally Green; Vålerenga, Norway; 1/0
Jacqui Hand; Åland United, Finland; 8/1
Betsy Hassett; Stjarnan, Iceland; 132/14
Grace Jale; Canberra United, Australia; 7/2
Anna Leat; Aston Villa FC, England; 7/0
Annalie Longo; Christchurch United, NZ; 126/15
Meikayla Moore; Glasgow City FC, Scotland; 55/3
Erin Nayler; Umeå IK, Sweden; 77/0
Gabi Rennie; Arizona State University, USA; 14/2
Ali Riley; Angel City FC, USA; 145/1
Indiah-Paige Riley; Fortuna Hjørring, Denmark 0/0*
Paige Satchell; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ; 30/2
Malia Steinmetz; Western Sydney Wanderers, Australia; 9/0
Kate Taylor; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ; 2/0
Hannah Wilkinson; Melbourne City FC, Australia; 107/27

*First Football Ferns call-up

Match schedule for September FIFA window

New Zealand v Mexico: September 2, 4.00pm kick-off local time (September 3, 11.00 kick-off NZT).

New Zealand v Philippines: September 6, 5.00pm kick-off local time (September 7, 12.00pm kick-off NZT).

– New Zealand Football

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