Kiwis hammer Solomon Islands to secure Paris 2024 slot

February 20 – New Zealand have booked their ticket for the Olympic Women’s Football tournament after thrashing Solomon Islands 11-1 in the Oceania qualifying final. 

The Football Ferns wrapped up Olympic qualifying in emphatic style, hitting double digits against the island nation. In qualifying New Zealand scored 32 times in five matches and conceded just twice, banishing past goalscoring woes.

The Solomon Islands didn’t play in the previous Olympic qualifying tournament. An amateur side, they were found out in the final as New Zealand created chance after chance. Jacqui Hand, Hannah Wilkinson, Katie Bowen, Grace Jale, Indiah Paige-Riley, Katie Kitching and Ruby Nathan were all on target.

This will be the fifth consecutive time that the Ferns have participated in the Olympic tournament, having first qualified for Beijing 2008.

Except for London 2012, New Zealand have never progressed from the group and the competition will provide another stern test for the team of manager Jitka Klimkova, who disappointed in the World Cup on home soil last summer failing to make it out of the group.

New Zealand join hosts France, and the already qualified United States, Brazil, Colombia and the defending Olympic champions Canada at the 12-team tournament.

The group stages kick off on June 25 and the women’s final wraps up Olympic football for the first time with the final on August 10 at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

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