Day 6, Match 12
New Zealand vs. England, Group B
Date and Location
July 1, Rudolf-Harbig Stadion, Dresden, Germany
Live on Rogers Sportsnet and CBCSports.ca (Noon ET). Consult the full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
England will be disappointed after being held to a 1-1 draw by Mexico, and will need a win here to get its World Cup campaign back on track. Anything less than three points will be considered a disaster, especially considering its last game of the group stage is against top seed Japan. As for the Football Ferns, they will be buoyed by their solid performance in a 2-1 loss to Japan. They need a victory here to have any chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.
Setting the stage
This is a match between two nations who share a number of sporting rivalries. Rugby and cricket bragging rights have been going on for decades but football has never been on the agenda until now.
England and New Zealand have met only once before in a women's international. The two-time quarter-finalists were held to a goal-less draw by the Football Ferns at The Peace Cup in October 2010. England were not at full strength that day but were certainly tested in South Korea.
The pace and goal-scoring potential of Fara Williams will be a key part of England's game plan. But nothing would give New Zealand's English-born coach John Herdman more pleasure than to cause an upset and blow the group wide open.
Player to watch for New Zealand
Amber Hearn — The veterans forward underlined her importance to the Football Ferns with her country's lone goal in a 2-1 loss to Japan. Aside from providing fire power, Hearn is a team leader who teammates look to for inspiration.
Player to watch for England
Fara Williams — The accomplished midfielder scored for England in a 1-1 draw against Mexico, but more importantly, she ran herself ragged, chasing down balls and causing plenty of problems for the Mexican defence with her dangerous runs.
The New Zealand perspective
"Six points is what we're after in the next two games, although England are very tough opponents. They’re one of the best teams at the World Cup and we’re expecting a tough test, but my girls are up for it," New Zealand coach John Herdman told FIFA.com.
The English perspective
"I think it will be tough again on Friday. But if we can put the things right that we didn't get quite right in the first match, we can get the result we want," England defender Sophie Bradley told FIFA.com.
World Cup head-to-head
England and New Zealand have never met at the World Cup.