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Young Football Ferns To Meet Canada In U-17 World Cup Opener

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

29 JULY 2008 - New Zealand will open the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup against Canada at North Harbour Stadium on October 28 after a supplemental draw was completed in Zurich on Monday night.

Canada - who clinched the final berth in the 16-team tournament with a 1-0 victory over Mexico in the bronze medal match of the CONCACAF (North and Central America) U-17 championship on Monday - join Scandinavian heavyweights Denmark and South American champions Colombia in a power-packed Group A for hosts New Zealand.

"It's a tough group and provides us with a real challenge," New Zealand coach Paul Temple said.

Temple, who had been waiting since the Te Papa-based glitzy official draw on June 1 to discover who would complete New Zealand's group, said his team could now firmly fix their sights on their Auckland opener.

"Canada has a very good background in the women's game. They're a top 10 side at senior level and always do pretty well at major tournaments.

"But it's a mouth-watering way to start the tournament and the players and staff are all excited about a big opening game."

"It's been a wait but we're only three months out from the tournament now and know what we need to do and who we need to prepare for."

FIFA conducted a supplemental draw on Monday to place USA, Costa Rica, Nigeria and Ghana into pools as qualifiers for CONCACAF and CAF (Africa) were still ongoing at the time of June's official draw.

African champions Nigeria have been placed in the Wellington-based Group D alongside Brazil, England and Korea Republic, while CONCACAF champions USA were automatically drawn into Hamilton's Group C to face Japan, France and Paraguay.

Costa Rica and Ghana - who both finished as runners-up in their respective qualifiers - have been drawn alongside Germany and Korea DPR in Group B. Costa Rica will be competing at their first FIFA women's world finals and will make their debut against Germany in Christchurch on 29 October.

New Zealand's FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Schedule:

New Zealand v Canada - North Harbour Stadium, October 28, 7pm

New Zealand v Denmark - North Harbour Stadium, November 1, 4pm

New Zealand v Colombia - Wellington Stadium, November 4, 7pm

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