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Switzerland 0-0 New Zealand: Co-hosts knocked out after stalemate
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
New Zealand are out of the World Cup (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)
New Zealand are out of the World Cup (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

World Cup co-hosts New Zealand suffered group-stage elimination with a goalless draw against Switzerland in Dunedin not enough for the Football Ferns.

Jitka Klimkova’s side slipped from second spot in Group A, replaced due to goal difference by Norway, who joined the Swiss in qualifying for the last 16 after thrashing the Philippines 6-0 in their final pool match.

Jacqui Hand’s first-half shot which hit the post was the closest New Zealand came to scoring as they became the first hosts in the competition’s history not to make the knockout stage.

It was a disappointing conclusion to a campaign that had started with a superb 1-0 win over the Norwegians, the nation’s first-ever World Cup victory, before a damaging 1-0 loss to the Philippines earlier this week.

After Annalie Longo had put an early effort wide for New Zealand, they went close to taking the lead in the 24th minute as Hand’s lofted effort beat Gaelle Thalmann but came back off the far post.

Inka Grings’ Switzerland offered little at the other end, with Coumba Sow having a penalty appeal waved away as she sent the ball wide and Seraina Piubel seeing a strike comfortably claimed by Victoria Esson just before the break.

While Norway, 3-0 up at the interval, continued to score goals against the Philippines in Auckland, both sides struggled to show attacking threat in the second half at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

New Zealand finally registered their first attempt on target in the 74th minute, with Malia Steinmetz’s shot being held by Thalmann.

The Swiss goalkeeper also had little trouble dealing with a Claudia Bunge header and curling Hand effort, and stoppage time then saw opposite number Esson, up for a free-kick, head wide as the co-hosts’ last-16 hopes came to an end.


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