Co-hosts New Zealand crash out of Women’s World Cup after a goalless draw with Switzerland

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New Zealand, the host nation of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, made history by being the first-ever host to be eliminated in the group stages. 

Despite the support of the enthusiastic crowd at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, New Zealand’s hopes of advancing to the knockout stages were dashed by a strong defensive performance from Switzerland. New Zealand had a promising start to the match and dominated possession, aiming to secure a spot in the Women’s World Cup knockout stages for the first time in their history.

Even though the enthusiastic home crowd was silenced by the news of two quick goals from Norway against the Philippines, which moved New Zealand out of the Group A qualification spots, it did not discourage them. New Zealand continued to push for a goal, and Jacqui Hand’s shot hit the woodwork after beating Gaelle Thalmann. 

Despite facing early pressure, Switzerland demonstrated their danger with a fast break before halftime, resulting in Seraina Piubel’s deflected shot being saved by Victoria Esson.

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Switzerland played a cautious second half, knowing that a draw would be sufficient to advance to the final 16. As a result, New Zealand struggled once again to break through Switzerland’s strong defense, which had not conceded a goal in three consecutive matches. Malia Steinmetz had the best opportunity to score, but her shot was saved by Thalmann. Despite their continued attacking efforts, New Zealand lacked the necessary quality in the final third, and their four points from the group stage were not enough to progress. 

On the other hand, Switzerland maintained their solid defensive approach and have yet to concede a goal in the tournament. This performance has earned them a spot in the World Cup round of 16 for only the second time.

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