October 2, 2023

Solid NZ not enough as WC hopes crushed

New Zealand fought hard, but couldn’t find a goal against Switzerland as Philippines loss prove costly.

NZ and Jacqui Hand are out of the World Cup. Here from the match against Norway in the opening game at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023. (Photo: Shane Wenzlick/Phototek)

New Zealand – Switzerland 0-0

Following an opening day winner against Norway and a somewhat surprising loss to the Philippines, New Zealand had to win, or have results go their way, in order to advance from the group stage of the World Cup at home.

Norway went up 2-0 early in their game against the Philippines, meaning the second option went out the window after only a few minutes, and New Zealand had to win to advance to a historic knockout stage.

And the Football Ferns looked up to the task in Dunedin.

New Zealand were the better team in the first half, having multiple chances to score.

Closest came Jacqui Hand who volleyed a ball into the post from a difficult angle.

Switzerland also had chances of their own, but neither team could find the net in the first half.

Over in the second half Switzerland started the best but struggled to break down a solid NZ defense.

Neither team produced many clear-cut chances, but Malia Steinmetz had a decent opportunity when her shot following a corner went straight at the Swiss goalkeeper with roughly 15 minutes to go.

In the final minutes, including the eight added on, NZ took control and produced some opportunities, including a header from a free kick from goalkeeper Victoria Esson in the 95th minute, but it never troubled the Swiss goalkeeper too much.

But in the end, New Zealand didn’t manage to score, and that result means that Switzerland advance as group winners, alongside Norway, who beat the Philippines 6-0. Those two nations will face either Spain or Japan, depending on the outcome of that group.

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