New Zealand triumph completes France 2019 field

  • New Zealand qualify for their fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup
  • Football Ferns scored a comfortable win over Fiji to retain OFC title
  • All 24 participants for France 2019 now confirmed ahead of next Saturday’s Draw

The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ line-up has been completed after New Zealand retained their OFC Women’s Nations Cup title with a one-sided 8-0 win over Fiji in Noumea on Saturday.

France 2019 will mark the Football Ferns’ fourth consecutive appearance at the tournament and fifth overall.

New Zealand started as strong favourites in the New Caledonian capital and they made a perfect start as Rosie White forced the ball over the line in the very first minute.

Having set up the first goal, Sarah Gregorius doubled the advantage just five minutes later by converting from the penalty spot.

To their credit the inexperienced Fiji, who were playing in the first continental final, fought back creating a couple of half-chances.

But it all went awry for Melanesians late in the first half. Betsy Hassett added a third with a smart volley and any lingering hopes for Fiji were extinguished when influential midfielder Cema Nasau was sent off for a second caution four minutes before half-time.

Meikayla Moore swept home a loose ball with the final kick of the opening half to add insult to injury, giving the New Zealanders a four-goal advantage at the break.

Youngster Katie Rood continued the run of goals after the interval, while Hassett netted her second and New Zealand’s half-dozen before the hour-mark.

The Kiwi attack remained unrelenting and Gregorius secured her double, before White did likewise in injury time.

It is New Zealand’s fourth continental title in succession and sixth overall.

Their success also means they will represent Oceania at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020.

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