Young Ferns up for Fifa goal award
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.
Amelia Abbott (No 8) is congratulated by her New Zealand team-mates after scoring the opening goal against Japan.