Bronze medal won by young New Zealanders in Uruguay

1 December 2018

Woman in white uniform in the process of kicking a football, while a woman player in red uniform attempts to tackle her.
Grace Wisnewski shoots for goal against Canada (Getty Images/Buda Mendes–FIFA)

New Zealand beat Canada 2–1 at the Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo in the third-place playoff at the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup. This remains the best result by a New Zealand national football team in a global tournament.

New Zealand had qualified for the tournament by winning the 2017 FIFA Oceania Under-16 Championship in Auckland. In group play, the team defeated Finland 1–0 and hosts Uruguay 2–1 before losing 2–0 to Ghana to finish second in Group A.

The young Kiwis beat Group B winner Japan on penalties before losing 2–0 to eventual champions Spain in their semi-final. Grace Wisnewski scored two goals in the first 15 minutes of the bronze medal match and the team hung on in the second half to record an historic victory.

A number of members of the successful under-17 squad later graduated to the senior Football Ferns. Goalkeeper Anna Leat and striker Gabi Rennie were named in the squad for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™.

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