21 Nov 2018

NZ footballers beaten at under 17 World Cup

12:06 pm on 21 November 2018

The New Zealand under-17 women's football team has been beaten 2-nil by Ghana in their final group match at their World Cup in Uruguay.

New Zealand under-17 womens football team for 2018 World Cup.

New Zealand under-17 womens football team for 2018 World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Africans were the better side and had 31 shots compared to eight for New Zealand.

Ghana scored both of their goals in the second half through Mukarama Abdulai.

With qualification for the next stage already assured the New Zealand coach Leon Birnie started just three players that started and won their opening two games.

"They're a very good side, they're a very athletic side and when you're playing in the heat like today it makes it even more challenging," Birnie said.

"So for us we had the quarter-final in the back of our mind, we had a number of players on cards, a number of players with injuries, players that were mentally and physically tired from the first two games and we had to balance that."

"The girls had given everything today and sometimes it's just not good enough and Ghana were the better side and deserved the three points and deserved to top the group."

New Zealand will play Japan in the quarter-finals this weekend and Ghana will play Mexico.

"We've defied the odds already in this tournament and we're looking to do it again," Birnie said.