Author Topic: Soccer: Women's hopes rest with NZOC  (Read 671 times)

Offline David

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Soccer: Women's hopes rest with NZOC
« on: March 08, 2008, 09:11:47 PM »
The Football Ferns did what they needed to do yesterday and must now hope the New Zealand Olympic Committee think they are worthy of sending to Beijing.

Many expected yesterday's match would be a goal-fest but John Herdman's side found it hard to break down a spirited PNG in hot and humid conditions in Port Moresby, needing two second-half goals to win the match.

Renee Leota grabbed the first in the 55th minute when her sweetly-struck shot from the edge of the box found the bottom left-hand corner and substitute Kirsty Yallop calmly slotted the second in the 81st minute.

Their win yesterday and the men's under-23 side's expected victory over the Cook Islands in Fiji today will mean both teams will have qualified for the Olympics.

New Zealand Football will meet with the NZOC this week to argue the case for both sides to be included in the Games team.

NZOC secretary-general Barry Maister said before yesterday's result that if both teams qualified, it was "likely" they would go to Beijing but emphasised they liked teams to have the ability to qualify for the second round. The women would appear to have the best chance in a 12-team competition. The men's involves 16 teams.

"The results and performances at the qualifying tournaments are crucial," Maister said.

The Oly-Whites have come through a difficult week-long tournament in Fiji while the Football Ferns played a one-off against South Pacific champions PNG.

NZF relinquished their right to a return match in an effort to save costs for both countries, believing if they weren't good enough to beat the islanders in Port Moresby, they didn't deserve to go to Beijing.

The NZOC also took close interest in last week's three-game series against Australia - the 12th-ranked Australians won 2-0, 2-1 and 4-2.

OLYMPIC PLAYOFF
Papua New Guinea 0
New Zealand 2

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/4/story.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10496996