Ferns into Olympic qualifier semi-finals despite wasteful win against Samoa

New Zealand’s Football Ferns have beaten hosts Samoa 6-0 at the OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifier tournament.

The Ferns were wasteful with their possession and could have won by a much larger margin but for scrappy finishing.

But the win ensures they’ll go into a semi-final, regardless of results from the final round of group play on Tuesday when they face winless Vanuatu.

Main photo: Ferns teammates congratulate Macey Fraser on her first full international goal. Photo credit: OFC Media / Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

New Zealand started the game with a vastly changed line-up from the tournament opener against Tonga, with only three players starting in both games.

They were playmaker Macey Fraser, striker Grace Jale and defender Rebekah Stott, who retained the captain’s armband in her 98th international appearance.

Forward Jacqui Hand got the side off to a good start with a goal in the 9th minute.

The goal sparked a response from Samoa who shook New Zealand with a couple of forays into the Ferns’ territory.

A poor back pass was mis-cleared by Ferns goalkeeper Anna Leat, and Xevani Salanoa was presented with an open goal. Off balance, she skewed her shot into the side netting.

Jacqui Hand and India-Paige Riley put Samoan goalkeeper Xeyana Salanoa under pressure.

New Zealand punished the hosts, with Kate Taylor tapping home her first-ever Ferns goal at the far post in the 16th minute, and then going 3-0 with an own goal credited to goalkeeper Xeyana Salanoa.

Fraser, who was Player of the Match in the first group game, was the pick of the New Zealanders in the first half and she scored a belter of a free-kick from 25 metres in the 34th minute. It was her first goal for the full national side.

Turning round 4-0, coach Jitka Klimková worked her subs’ bench, as the players battled with the hot and humid conditions.

New Zealand had a gilt-edged chance to extend their lead in the 54th minute when indiah-Paige Riley was brought down in the area, and referee David Yareboinen awarded a penalty.

Jale, who scored twice against Tonga, stepped up but her shot rattled the post, rebounded off the ‘keeper and rolled to safety.

Ally Green scores for the Ferns, hitting the target from a sharp angle.

On the hour mark, New Zealand increased the margin to 5-0 when substitute Ally Green burst into the area, and fired in from an angle.

The sixth goal came in the 74th minute when Michaela Foster swung in a vicious corner that ‘keeper Salanoa could not cope with and it sailed directly into the goal.

Main photo: Jacqui Hand and India-Paige Riley put Samoan goalkeeper Xeyana Salanoa under pressure. 

Player of the Match

The Player of the Match award went to Wellington Phoenix midfielder Kate Taylor, who scored her first goal for the Ferns.


Games played on Saturday February 10, 2024

Pool B

Vanuatu 1 (Elina Aruvuha 6’)
Tonga 2 (Sachi Swift 9’ Telusila Vunipola 15’)

New Zealand 6 (Jacqui Hand 9′, Kate Taylor 16′, own goal 22′, Macey Fraser 34′, Ally Green 60′, Michaela Foster 74′)
Samoa 0



New Zealand

Anna Leat, Katie Bowen, Michaela Foster, Grace Neville (Mackenzie Barry 46′), Rebekah Stott (captain), Macey Fraser (Ally Green 46′), Katie Kitching, Kate Taylor, Jacqui Hand (Ruby Nathan 46′), Grace Jale (Gabi Rennie 78′), Indiah-Paige Riley (Betsy Hassett 64′).

Subs not used: Brianna Edwards (GK), Victoria Esson (GK), Claudia Bunge, Daisy Cleverley, Ava Collins, Hannah Wilkinson.

Head coach: Jitka Klimková


Yellow card: Barry 79′


Xeyana Salanoa, Xevani Salanoa (Lilly Dowsing 46′(, Lianna Soifua (captain), Jaedeci Uluvili (Alisa Tuatagaloa 46′), Leah Manuleleua (Jayda Stewart 46′), Sariah Taeaoalii, Arianna Skeers, Torijan Lyne-Lewis, 13 Sasjah Vikolia Dade (Jordyn Eldredge Sagapolutele 85′), Alexandrea Ape-Paia (Xehlia Salanoa 32′), Malia Jessop.

Subs not used:

Angelique Tuisamoa (GK), Repeka Asofa Salele (GK), Khelistar Murray-Kumitau, Shontelle Stevens, Monique Fischer, Grace Taeoalii.


Yellow: Dade 32′

Head coach: Juan Chang Urrea


Referee: David Yareboinen (Papua New Guinea)
Assistant referees: Stephanie Minan (Papua New Guinea), Vaihina Teura (Tahiti)
Fourth official: Kavitesh Behari (Fiji)
Fifth official: Avinesh Narayan (Fiji)
Match commissioner: Amitesh Pal (Fiji)

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