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New Zealand sign off with one-sided win

New Zealand ended their FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup campaign on a high note with a 5-0 win over the hosts in Zarqa, Jordan on Saturday morning.

Hannah Blake spearheaded the rout with a hat trick while Sam Tawharu bagged a double in the comprehensive win.

Notching just their second victory at U-17 Women’s World Cup level and New Zealand’s biggest ever win at a FIFA tournament, the Young Football Ferns finish third in their group after losses to Mexico (0-5) and Spain (0-2) in their first two matches.

Tawharu gave the Kiwis an ideal start when she swept home Blake’s cross to put her side ahead in just the fifth minute.

Tawharu then repaid the favour by putting Blake in behind the Jordanian defence in the 28th minute. Blake still had plenty to do though but controlled well with her head and beat the goalkeeper from a tight angle to double the lead.

Despite their dominance, New Zealand were kept at bay until the 76th minute when Blake grabbed her second with a side-foot volley from a misguided defensive clearance.

The Blake-Tawharu partnership reaped dividends again in the 90th minute as Blake slipped Tawharu through for the Forrest Hill Milford forward to slot her second.

Blake, who was named player of the match, then completed her hat trick in the second minute of additional time to round out the decisive display.

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