The Football Ferns have thanked New Zealand for getting behind them during the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
As the team exited from the tournament, players and head coach Jitka Klimková paid tribute to supporters who had urged them on.
Head coach Jitka Klimková said after her team’s 0-0 draw with Switzerland:
“I’m very proud of our team and what we’ve done during this World Cup
“When I saw the fans around, the sold-out stadiums, and the connection that we had with New Zealand, that’s what we were aiming for, that’s what we wanted.
“We were very close to achieving a historic result. We got four points and two clean sheets. That’s an amazing result from this team. I’m sure we inspired a lot of young girls and boys to start loving and playing football.
“I would say it’s been a successful tournament, even if we didn’t get out of the group.
“We wanted to make our nation proud and we’ve done it. I’m so glad our crowd and our nation responded the way they did. It means a lot to the players.”
Defender Katie Bowen:
“Honestly, truly gutted … I’m pretty upset but I’m so proud of the team, proud of the squad.
“I wouldn’t want to be here with anyone else, and I want to thank New Zealand for getting behind us. It meant the world to us.
“We heard you; we saw your messages, so thank you.”
Forward Jacqui Hand:
“I’m heartbroken, for sure, but super proud of the team. We’ve achieved so much at this tournament.
“The crowd was absolutely incredible, and it felt so amazing to have New Zealand backing us.”
Goalkeeper Vic Esson:
“We fought to the end and we were so lucky to have the entire country behind us. A sold-out stadium again is very special.
“I think we just needed a few more minutes and we would’ve been able to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Games played on Sunday July 30, 2023
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
New Zealand 0
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Norway 6 (Sophie Román Haug 6′, 17′, 90+5′, Caroline Graham Hansen 31′, own goal 48′, Guro Reiten 53′ pen)