Football Ferns face tough task at Tokyo Olympics after Australia loss
22 July, 2021, 9:45 am
The Football Ferns’ chances of getting out of their group at the Tokyo Olympics suffered a big blow as they were beaten 2-1 by Australia in their opening game.
Both Australia’s goals came in the first half, with New Zealand scoring in injury time at the end of the second half through debutant Gabi Rennie, who headed the ball into the net just minutes after coming on as a replacement.
The Football Ferns were one of four teams, including the US, Sweden and Great Britain, that took a knee before their game as a part of the global call for greater racial equality.
New Zealand also have the world champion United States and Sweden in their group, with the World No.5 Swedes stunning the the US 3-0 in their match last night.
The Football Ferns will have to beat at least one of those teams to advance to the knockout stage.
Tameka Yallop opened the scoring for the Australians in the 20th minute at Tokyo Stadium, thumping a shot past Erin Nayler.
Captain Sam Kerr doubled the lead in the 33rd minute, with her header glancing off the underside of the crossbar.
A bright spark for the Football Ferns, however, was the arrival of Rennie on the international scene, marking her debut with a goal just minutes after taking to the pitch.