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Football Ferns get major boost ahead of FIFA Women's World Cup

Author
Radio Sport, NZ Herald,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 December 2018, 8:11PM
It is the first ever Cup of Nations. (Photo / Photosport)

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The Football Ferns could have an unprecedented buildup for next year Women's World Cup, with confirmation they will compete in the inaugural Cup of Nations in Australia next year.

The New Zealand side already have a pre-World Cup fixture against the USA locked in for 2019 and the tournament across the Tasman will offer three more highly competitive fixtures.

The World No. 19 Ferns will take on Australia, Argentina and Korea Republic from 28 February to 6 March, with three matches spread across three cities and seven days.

Ferns coach Tom Sermanni sees the event as ideal preparation for the World Cup in France, where they will face Canada, the Netherlands and Cameroon.

"We are really looking forward to this tournament," said Sermanni. "To be able to play three world-class sides over seven days in three different locations will be great preparation for what we will face in France at the World Cup.

"We only have six months until the tournament begins so to have secured quality opposition, along with playing the USA in May, we are happy with our build-up to the tournament."

The World No. 6 Australia will go into the Cup of Nations as the favourites ahead of the Korea Republic (World No. 14), New Zealand (19) and Argentina (36).

The six-match tournament will kick-off at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah on Thursday, 28 February with Argentina playing Korea Republic followed by the Matildas against the Football Ferns.

The New Zealand match will take on extra significance as 2019 marks 40 years since the Matildas played their first 'A' international, which was against the Football Ferns, at Sutherland in 1979.

Three days later, New Zealand and Argentina go head to head in Brisbane, before Australia take on Korea Republic in their second match of the tournament.

The final round of fixtures in Melbourne see the Ferns play Korea Republic, followed by Australia against Argentina.

Cup of Nations – Match Schedule

Matchday One - Thursday, 28 February

Venue: Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah (Sydney), New South Wales
Match One: Argentina v Korea Republic – 4.35pm kick-off (6.35pm NZT)
Match Two: Australia v New Zealand – 7.30pm kick-off (9.30pm NZT)

Matchday Two - Sunday, 3 March

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland
Match One: Argentina v New Zealand – 3.05pm kick-off (AEST) (6.05pm NZT)
Match Two: Australia v Korea Republic – 6.00pm kick-off (AEST) (9.00pm NZT)

Matchday Three - Wednesday, 6 March

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne, Victoria
Match One: Korea Republic v New Zealand – 3.05pm kick-off (5.05pm NZT)
Match Two: Australia v Argentina – 6.00pm kick-off (8.00pm NZT)

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