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FIFA Women's World Cup 2019™

New Zealand

New Zealand team-line up before the OFC Women's Nations Cup final 

FIFA Women's World Cup record

New Zealand featured in the maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 1991, but had to wait until 2007 for their return. Neither tournament yielded any points but the Football Ferns showed their quality at Germany 2011, drawing with Mexico, in addition to narrow one-goal defeats against England and eventual winners Japan. There was incremental progress four years later with draws against host nation Canada and China PR, and New Zealand were in the hunt for knockout-stage qualification until the final moment of the group phase.

The road to France

New Zealand were emphatic winners of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup, winning all five matches and scoring an incredible 43 goals without conceding. They cruised through the group stage and maintained their focus with an 8-0 win over New Caledonia in the semi-final, before reprising the scoreline against Fiji in the tournament decider. The November 2018 victory was New Zealand’s fourth continental title in succession and sixth overall.

The coach

Tom Sermanni took the New Zealand reins in late 2018 just in time for the qualifiers. His appointment followed an unstable period for the Football Ferns since Canada 2015, which included two coaching changes. The hugely experienced Scot is set for his fourth Women’s World Cup in 2019, a figure bettered only by Norway’s legendary Even Pellerud. Sermanni’s coaching debut at the tournament was way back in 1995 with Australia, before he returned to lead the Matildas to breakthrough quarter-final appearances in 2007 and 2011. He was the first coach to guide any Australian team to an Asian title, doing so with the Matildas in 2010.

The stat

8 – Striker Sarah Gregorius finished top scorer at the 2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup with eight goals, making light of the absence of her attacking colleagues Hannah Wilkinson and Amber Hearn.