12 Jun 2019

Football Ferns pipped by Dutch

9:01 am on 12 June 2019

The Football Ferns have been beaten by the Netherlands 1-0 in their Fifa World Cup opener in Le Havre, conceding the goal in stoppage time.

Football Fern Olivia Chance.


Substitute Jill Roord headed home the winner as the Netherlands finally broke down New Zealand's defence.

The European champions had numerous attempts at goal in a match marked by a myriad of missed chances before Roord headed in at the back post.

The double attacking threat of the Dutch failed to deliver despite periods of sustained pressure. New Zealand looked on course for a well-earned, but unexpected, point before conceding two minutes into stoppage time.

Dutch striker Martens had the first chance of the game, producing a good save from Kiwi goalkeeper Erin Nayler, as a pattern of missed opportunities quickly began to emerge.

New Zealand hit the crossbar in the 11th minute when a shot from Olivia Chance went over the head of Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, who soon after had to turn away a long range effort from Rosie White.

Netherlands football player Jill Roord


Sarah Gregorius also got into a couple of good goal scoring positions.

"I was happy with the performance right throughout the game," coach Tom Sermanni said.

"I thought we were courageous, battled hard and were unbelievably disciplined. We gave everything we could give and tactically the players did everything we asked of them. It's a bit heart-breaking but that's football."

"The players will be absolutely devastated but we're a resilient group and I'm pretty confident we'll bounce back," Sermanni said.

"We came up against one of the best teams in the world who have a chance to win this tournament and I think we went shoulder-to-shoulder with them. We can go away with a lot of confidence from this game."

More Women's Football World Cup news:

The Football Ferns will now travel to Grenoble, where they will prepare to take on Canada in their second match of Group E on Sunday morning (NZT).

The Netherlands now share top place with Canada, who edged Cameroon 1-0 in Montpellier yesterday in Group E's opening game.

Women's Football World Cup graphic

Photo: RNZ / Suneil Narsai