5 Jun 2012

Junior Football Ferns in same World Cup pool as the Japanese

6:36 pm on 5 June 2012

The under-20 national women's football team will play the hosts of the FIFA under-20 World Cup, Japan, following the draw for the 16-nation tournament in Tokyo in August.

The Junior Football Ferns will face the Japanese in Miyagi, the area devastated by last year's earthquake and tsunami.

New Zealand will play the opening match of the tournament against Switzerland in Miyagi Stadium on August 19th, before playing the hosts three days later, then moving to Kobe to play Mexico on August 26th.

Japan are among the favourites to win the tournament, but the draw has seen New Zealand avoid fellow heavyweights Brazil, Germany, USA and the two Koreas.

The top two from each of the four pools qualify for the quarter-finals.