Coach Jitka Klimkova pleased with Ferns’ improvement during tournament

Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková says she’s happy with her team’s game-by-game progress at the OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifier tournament, and wants the improvement to continue into Monday’s final against Solomon Islands.

Speaking after New Zealand’s 7-1 semi-final win against Fiji, Klimková said:

“We are really working hard on our alignment on the field. We are working hard on how our lines can be connected more, and that’s what we could see today and the positive outcomes from our opposition, having seven goals in our backpack — that’s a really, really positive feeling to go to the finals.

“You can see that how much now we can combine with each other, and that was our goal — to get to the final third as quick as possible, specifically in the first half, and not just getting there but actually having those positive outcomes from our possession game and goals.

“How we scored them, it was very, very good.”

As for Monday’s final — with a place at the Paris Olympics at stake — Klimková said: “Game number five (is) another opportunity for us to play better football We know we can play good football.

“We could see In this game many, many times when we were moving the ball quickly, and we were moving off each other, and that’s something (where) we can be more consistent in our last game at the tournament.”

READ MORE: Ruthless Ferns move a step closer to Paris Olympics with big win against Fiji >>>>

Indiah-Paige Riley … two goals and Player of the Match award.

‘It’s good to be back in the heat’

Player of the Match against Fiji was two-goal Indiah-Paige Riley who revealed after the match that she’s been relishing the heat and humidity in Samoa.

“I think I have a bit of an upper hand, growing up in Brisbane with the heat. So it reminds me of when I was playing when I was young. So it’s good to be back in the heat,” she said after the semi-final.

About the final and a potential ticket to Paris, Riley said: “I think those pinnacle events are a dream come true, you know, it’s what you dream of when you’re little growing up.”

Indiah-Paige Riley scores against Fiji, one of four goals she’s scored at the tournament.


Games played on Friday February 16, 2024


New Zealand 7 (Indiah-Paige Riley 6′, 45+6′, Jacqui Hand 24′, 45+4′, Grace Jale 45+2′, 68′, 83′)
Fiji 1 (Cema Nasau 90+2′)

Solomon Islands 2 (Sandy Aniholland 65′, Ileen Pegi 78′ pen)
Samoa 0

READ MORE: Solomon Islands book place in final at OFC Women’s Olympic qualifiers >>>>


Game to be played on Monday February 19, 2024


Solomon Islands v New Zealand
FFS Football Stadium, Apia, 5pm (NZT)

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