Young Ferns up for Fifa goal award

Taranaki Daily News - - Family Notices -

Phillip Rollo

Foot­ball

A goal or­ches­trated by dis­graced for­mer Foot­ball Ferns coach An­dreas Heraf is among the 10 nom­i­na­tions for goal of the tour­na­ment at the Fifa Un­der-17 Women’s World Cup.

New Zealand are one of two teams with mul­ti­ple nom­i­na­tions, with Amelia Ab­bott and Kelli Brown both in the run­ning for the best goal of the tour­na­ment after they scored im­por­tant goals dur­ing the team’s his­to­ry­mak­ing run in Uruguay.

Although Heraf had min­i­mal in­ter­ac­tion with the un­der-17 play­ers, he did pass on some cun­ning set-piece ma­noeu­vres, and one of those led to a goal scored by Nel­son mid­fielder Ab­bott dur­ing the quar­ter­fi­nal against Ja­pan.

The play started with Macey Fraser, who de­liv­ered a low cross into the path of Aneka Mit­ten­dorff from a cor­ner-kick. Mit­ten­dorff then drew a de­fender be­fore step­ping over the ball, al­low­ing it to roll through to Ab­bott, who was un­marked at the edge of the 18 yard box.

New Zealand went on to win 4-3 on penal­ties after the score was locked at 1-1 through 90 min­utes.

‘‘When we did it it worked so well. Ev­ery­one in the box did their jobs and Amelia fin­ished it per­fectly,’’ Fraser said.

‘‘They had the op­tion to step over it or not but the most im­por­tant thing was to block the other team.

‘‘In prac­tice games at camps we’ve done it and it worked. We de­cided prior to the game that we would do that one first on the right side. We do have a few more.’’

Brown, a winger from Hamil­ton, scored two goals at the Un­der-17 Women’s World Cup but it was her au­da­cious long-range ef­fort that kicked off their history-mak­ing run that earned her a nom­i­na­tion for goal of the tour­na­ment.

De­spite the best ef­forts of im­pres­sive goal­keeper Anna Koivunen, Brown was able to score the only goal in a 1-0 win against Fin­land when she curled the ball into the top right cor­ner from dis­tance.

One of the other eight nom­i­na­tions in­cludes a su­perb vol­ley scored against New Zealand by Spain mid­fielder Irene Lopez.

GETTY IM­AGES

Amelia Ab­bott (No 8) is con­grat­u­lated by her New Zealand team-mates after scor­ing the open­ing goal against Ja­pan.

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