The Football Ferns will play Canada, the Netherlands and Cameroon at next year's World Cup in France. They discovered their…
The Football Ferns will play Canada, the Netherlands and Cameroon at next year’s World Cup in France.
They discovered their opponents when the draw was made on Sunday morning [NZ time] in Paris.
Their first match in Group E will be against the Netherlands on June 12 [1am NZ time].
They will then play Canada on June 1
6 [7am NZ time] and Cameroon on June 21 [4am NZ time].
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The Ferns are ranked 19th in the world by Fifa and Chasing a first win at a World Cup and a place in the knockout stages for the first time.
They will especially fancy their chances against Cameroon, who they beat 3-1 at the 2012 Olympics, but will probably need at least one point from their first two matches to advance.
HAGEN HOPKINS / GETTY IMAGES
The Football Ferns have found their World Cup opponents.
The Ferns drew with Canada and lost to the Netherlands at the last World Cup in 2015.
They have played fifth-ranked Canada 11 times before, winning once, back in 1987; drawing four times, most recently in 2015; and losing six times.
They have played the seventh-ranked Netherlands seven times before, winning once, in 2009; drawing twice, most recently in 2012; and losing four times.
The Ferns ‘win over world No 46 Cameroon in 2012 was the teams’ only previous meeting.
The top two teams in each group advance to the round of 16, where they are joined by the four best third-placed teams.
Third-placed teams with four points have advanced in every Fifa tournament that has used this format (one women’s World Cup and 12 men’s age-group events), while third-placed teams with three points have advanced 17 times out of 26.
The Football Ferns have previously qualified for four World Cups, drawing once in 2011 and twice in 2015, but never making it past the group stage.
2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw
Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria
Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa  Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica
Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan
Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands  Group F: United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden
Football Ferns’ Group E fixtures
v Netherlands; June 12, 1am
v Canada; June 16, 7am
v Cameroon; June 20, 4am