New Zealand becomes the first ever host nation to be knocked out of the Women’s World Cup group stage

Lars Baron/Getty Images

New Zealand players looked devastated after the defeat on Sunday.


New Zealand picked up an unwanted record by becoming the first host nation to be knocked out Women’s World Cup the group stage after a 0-0 draw against Switzerland on Sunday.

As Norway thrashed the Philippines 6-0 in the other Group A match, the Football Ferns needed to beat their Swiss opponents to secure a place in the Round of 16, but were unable to find a breakthrough.

In front of a rapturous crowd at Dunedin Stadium, New Zealand struggled to get a handle on a cagey game and failed to create many chances on goal.

The results on Sunday mean Switzerland progress as group winners, with Norway progressing as runners-up ahead of New Zealand on goal difference.

The tournament had started so well for the co-host when it shocked Norway 1-0 in the opening game, securing its first ever World Cup victory.

But all the excitement generated by the famous victory slowly dissipated over the remaining group matches.

The football ferns were stunned 1-0 by the Philippines in their next match and then struggled to stamp their authority over Switzerland when the pressure was on.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

New Zealand players applaud fans after crashing out of Women’s World Cup.

New Zealand managed just two shots on target during Sunday’s match despite throwing everything at their opponents in the closing stages.

Chasing the winner, New Zealand goalkeeper Victoria Esson joined the attack every time her team had a corner or free-kick in the final minutes – she even managed to get her head on a cross but couldn’t direct it on target.

After the defeat, New Zealand’s players crowded the field and captain Ali Riley gave a speech to his tearful teammates.

New Zealand’s misery meant jubilation for a Norwegian team that overcame defeat in its opening match to qualify for the knockout rounds.

The 6-0 win against the Philippines was a welcome return to form that finally showed the team’s potential to go deep into the tournament.

Norway’s Sophie Román Haug scored the tournament’s second hat-trick, with Caroline Graham Hansen, Guro Reiten and an own goal from Alicia Barker completing the round.

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