Kiwis crush Papua New Guinea to book London 2012 football spot

Wednesday, 04 April 2012
By David Gold

New Zealand_womens_football_April_4April 4 - The line-up for the London 2012 women's football tournament is now complete after New Zealand annihilated Papua New Guinea 15-0 on aggregate in the final Oceania group qualifying tie.

The victory means both New Zealand's men's and women's teams have qualified for this summer's Olympic Games.

The Kiwi women (pictured top) thrashed the Papua New Guineans 7-0 in the second leg at Port Moresby today to seal their spot in London, having dished out an 8-0 hammering in the opening leg at home in Whangarei four days earlier.

Captain Hayley Moorwood (pictured below, in white) celebrated her record 75th appearance with the opening goal of the second leg; further strikes from Sarah Gregorius and Hannah Wilkinson made it three while an own goal saw New Zealand go in at half-time four up.

Anna Green, Betsy Hassett and Gregorius completed the rout in the second period.

Strikes from Wilkinson, Rebecca Smith, Gregorius and Amber Hearn had earned the Kiwis a 4-0 interval lead in the first game.

Additional strikes from Hearn and Rosie White, who bagged a brace, followed by an eighth goal courtesy of Ria Percival handed New Zealand an unassailable first-leg advantage.

Tougher tests will undoubtedly lie ahead for the Kiwi women in England with reigning champions the United States, world champions Japan and the ever dangerous Brazil also set to line up in London.

Hosts Great Britain, Canada, Colombia, North Korea, Cameroon, South Africa, France, Sweden complete the London line-up.

New Zealand_women_football_-_Hayley_Moorwood_4_April
"We knew after the first leg that the job was pretty much done but [you can] not celebrate until you actually book your ticket," said New Zealand coach Tony Readings.

"We have done that now and the girls were really professional in their approach over the two games.

"The players are never satisfied and are looking to improve with every game.

"The conditions were tough but they kept pushing until the end."

Readings continued: "I do not think we could have got anything more out of the squad over the two matches.

"We are really happy with ourselves...we are confident we have shown that we will be more than competitive at the Olympics."

The Olympic Games football draw will take place at Wembley Stadium on April 24.

The legendary London venue is also due to host the men's and women's showpiece gold-medal ties.

Contact the writer of this story at david.gold@insidethegames.biz
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