Live updates: Tokyo Olympics, July 21 - Football Ferns v Australia

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NZ 1 Australia 2

NZ - Rennie 90' + 1

Australia - Yallop 21', Kerr 33'

Second half

93rd minute - Riley puts another ball into the area, but no-one is chasing.

The whistle sounds and Australia have won, but they may not be happy with the margin, which could be crucial in deciding the best third-placed teams after pool play.

91st minute - Three minutes of added time. Gielnik comes on the Australia.

GOAL to Rennie 

Wilkinson crosses from the left and Percival gets a head to it, nodding it back for Rennie to deflect inside the far post with her head. Another goal here could be interesting.

90th minute - Long ball from Riley, but Polkinghorne meets it. Percival has a lash, but it's high and wide.

88th minute - Carpenter scorches a shot across goal, but it's wayward. Sermanni takes Bott off, before she incurs the wrath of the ref, and Rennie comes on.

87th minute - Catley escored the ball into touch and Bott gives her a shove in frustration.

86th minute - Wilkinson chases a pass back to Williams and her clearances misses her teammates into touch.

85th minute - NZ corner is cleared by Catley and Australia go on attack again.

84th minute - NZ have another attacking freekick, similar set-up to the last one, with Bowen floating the ball to the far post and Williams forced to deflect it wide for a corner.

83rd minute - Australia bring on Kennedy for Raso.

82nd minute - NZ defence can't clear the ball and van Egmond has a lash at goal, but it's wide.

81st minute - Elsewhere, Netherlands have wrapped up a 10-3 win over Zambia in Group G.

Bowen gets a yellow card for lazy challenge on Polkinghorne.

79th minute - NZ win a freekick and Bowen floats a ball into the Aussie area, but Erceg's header is wide.

78th minute - The Ferns are trying to build attacks just inside the Aussie half, but can't find a way through.  Wilkinson tries an ambitions corss through the penalty area, but nowhere near her teammates.

75th minute - Australia bring on Fowler for Simon and Cooney-Cross for Yallop.

74th minute - Bott makes a long run down the right, is quickly closed down by the Aussie defence.

73rd minute - Nayler forced to advance on Simon and deflects a shot past the post for another corner.

71st minute - Bott charges down a kick on halfway, but she's given a yellow card, as she slides into a challenge on Polkinghorne.

70th minute - Cleverley immeidately puts a ball into the box for Percival to chase, but she gets tangled up with Foord. No call from the ref, Aussie goalkick.

68th minute - NZ coach Tom Sermanni brings on Cleverly for Chance and Stachell for Green.

67th minute - Catley finds Polkinghorne at the near post, but her header is wide.

66th minute - Ferns are lurking on the edge of the area, but Hassett loses control and Australia clear. Down the other end, Moore is forced to conced a ninth corner.

64th minute - NZ can't find a way into the Aussie area.

Wilkinson chases a long ball, and Williams finds herself out of her area and unable to handle. Wilkinson tries to bend a pass back across the open goal, but misses her target and Aussies clear.

That was probably their best chance so far.

62nd minute - Hassett and Wilkinson try to hatch something on attack, but they squander the chance.

Austraia counterattack and Nayler is wrongfooted, but Green manages to smother Foord's shot, with the goalie beaten.

61st minute - Indecision by the NZ midfield gifts the ball to Australia in their own half and they stream across halfway.

60th minute - Foord slots a ball behind the defence for her attackers to chase, but Nayler advances to cover.

59th minute - Catley crosses and finds Foord on the far post, but her header is batted dead by Nayler for a corner.

58th minute - Catley's corner is headed out of the box and when the ball is knocked back, the Aussie's want a penalty for a handball by Moore. They're waved off.

57th minute - Another great run from Kerr into the box and Nayler is forced to advance and dive at her feet, conceding a corner.

56th minute - Great attack gives Australia two chances, but ends with Yallop unable to unleash a shot under pressure from Bott.

54th minute - Catley puts a ball into the area, but NZ clear. Carpenter puts another cross into the area, but Raso is wide with her deflection.

50th minute - Kerr tries to backflick the ball into goal, but it's deflected by a defender. A goal-kick is awarded, but that's clearly an error.

49th minute - Wilkinson chases a long ball, but her cross finds absolutely nobody - there was only on Fern in the box.

47th minute - Bott attempts a long-range shot that Williams gets behind, but at least that was on target.

46th minute - Moore gives the ball away and Nayler has to block Simon's shot.

45th minute - NZ kick off and immediately go on attack, but Wilkinson hurries her shot in the area and you can't really call that a save from Williams.

In other results, Japan and Canada have drawn 1-1 in Group E, while the Netherlands and comfortably ahead of Zambia 8-1 midway through the second half in Group F.

In this clash, the stats tell a story - Australia have had seven shots, four on goal and five corner kicks. New Zealand have had none of anything.

First half

45th minute - And that's halftime... no extra time added, so very little respite in the Tokyo heat.

44th minute - Hassett's back pass is cut off by Kerr and Australia pour onto attack. A cross into the area is met by Kerr, who seems to be everywhere at once, but her header is over the bar.

43rd minute - Long ball into the Aussie area, with Wilkinson chasing, but Williams rises high to take the ball.

41st minute - Australia cross into the area and Simon is unmarked in front of goal, but can only get a weak header to the low cross and Nayler easily controls.

40th minute - NZ squander another chance to go on attack.

38th minute - Foord tries a shot from outside the area, it's deflected, but plenty of time for Nayler to get behind it.

37th minute - Long run from Foord into the penalty area, but Erceg slides in for the tackle for the shot. A really late offside call comes.

36th minute - Nice pass for Percival to cross on goal, but Williams is safe under no pressure.

33rd minute - Kerr makes a long run, passes off and continues her run, but Erceg is there to deflect her shot for another corner.

GOAL to Kerr

Catley's corner finds Kerr at the near post and she headers on goal, Nayler again deflecting into the crossbar and over the line.

32nd minute - Raso chases a ball into the box and stumbles. She wants a penalty, but replays show minimal contact.

31st minute - Foord controls a long ball on the byline and the ball is crossed across the face of goal, but two Aussie attackers, Raso and Simon, just miss connecting for the second goal.

29th minute - Moore scrambles to find the sideline from a through ball, but Foord is ruled offside anyway.

27th minute - NZ are penalised and Percival doesn't agree - she gets to argue her case with the Mexican referee.

26th minute - Wilkinson gets sandwiched between an Aussie defender behind her and the ball in her face.

24th minute - Long ball through for New Zealand, but Bowen is penalised from bringing down the Aussie defender.

22nd minute - Bott puts a ball into the area, but only Chance is there and the half chances is squandered.

21st minute - GOAL to Yallop

A poor clearance from the Ferns and Aussies pounce, sending a through-ball for Yallop to chase. Nayler gets a hand on the shot, but only deflects it into the net.

20th minute - Australia penalised for shoving in the back and then a little dissent, which draws some anger from the ref.

19th minute - Corner is cleared, but Aussies retain control.

18th minute - Australia still on attack and have a fourth corner.

17th minute - Green is beaten on the left and the ball comes to Catley on the edge of the area, but her shot is high.

16th minute - Catley's corner is headed away, but Australia have another corner, as Bott cops the ball in the face.

That corner is headed away, and another cross is deflected by Nayler and cleared. Dangerous times.

15th minute - Raso attempts a cross, but the ball ricochets off Green for a corner.

14th minute - Kerr races forward and centre passes towards the area, but Erceg headers clear.

13th minute - Australia race over halfway on attack, but Raso is called for handball, as she tries to control the ball.

12th minute - Ferns actually spending some time in the Aussie half now and building some pressure.

11th minute - Nice interpassing from the Ferns up the right, but it comes to nothing. Australia counterattack quickly and Simon draws a save from Nayler, who punches clear.

Ninth minute - Australia win a corner, when NZ are forced to concede on the edge of the box. The kick is long and NZ clear.

Seventh minute - Nice through ball from Australia draws a weak clearance from Nayler, but Simon is penalised for a rough challenge on the NZ defender.

Sixth minute - NZ win an attacking throw-in, but can't find a way into the penalty area.

Fourth minute - An ambitious long-range shot from Australia goes high and wide.

Second minute - Last time NZ beat Australian in women's football was 1994. Yikes!

The Ferns have weathered the opening salvo from Australia and are now on attack.

First minute - Both teams taking a knee as a symbol of their opposition to racism - especially in football, where we've seen some horrible examples lately.

Aussies kick off and look to build from the back... Nayler gets an early touch.

11:24pm - Teams emerge onto the field to the tune of White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army' - classic stadium tunes!

Special welcome to friend of the Big Wraps podcast, Erin Nayler, in goal for NZ tonight.

10:48pm - New Zealand and Australia have named their line-ups for tonight's game...

NZ: 1-Erin Nayler (gk), 2-Ria Percival, 3-Anna Green, 4-CJ Bott, 5-Meikayla Moore, 7-Ali Riley, 8-Abby Erceg, 11-Olivia Chance, 12-Betsy Hassett, 14-Katie Bowen, 17-Hannah Wilkinson

Substitutes: 6-Claudia Bunce, 9-Gabi Rennie, 10-Annalie Longo, 13-Paige Stachell, 15-Daisy Cleverley, 18-Anna Leat (gk), 20-Marisa van der Meer

Australia: 1-Lydia Williams (gk), 2-Sam Kerr, 4-Clare Palkinghorne, 5-Aivi Luik, 7-Steph Catley, 9-Caitlin Foord, 10-Emily van Egmond, 12-Ellie Carpenter, 13-Tameka Yallop, 16-Hayley Raso, 17-Kyah Simon

Substitutes: 3-Kyra Cooney-Cross, 6-Chloe Logarzo, 11-Mary Fowler, 14-Alanna Kennedy, 15-Emily Gielnik, 18-Teagan Micah, 21-Laura Brock

Both teams starting a 3-4-3 formation.

10:23pm - Sweden have overwhelmed USA 3-0 in the opening 'Pool of Death' encounter, with Blackstenius adding another to her first-half strike and Hurtig providing the clincher in the 72nd minute.

Brazil have also scored a huge 5-0 win over China in Group F.

9:19pm - If you've tuned in early for the Football Ferns, you'll be intrigued to learn that world champions USA currently trail Sweden 1-0 at halftime of their early pool match.

Blackstenius scored the opener in the 25th minute, but Sweden have had six shots on goal, compared to the Americans' one, and are absolutely good for their lead.

Remember, the Swedes won silver at Rio 2016, after eliminating USA in a quarter-final penalty shootout.

Elsewhere, Great Britain have beaten Chile 2-0 in women's Group E, while Brazil lead China 2-0 midway through their second half.

Also, congratulations to Brisbane, which has been confirmed as 2032 Olympics host city.


Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, as the Football Ferns take on Australian in their opening match of the Games.

The NZ women will become the Kiwis to compete at Tokyo - and if you believe reports of possible cancellation, this time tomorrow, they may be the ONLY Kiwis to compete.

But let's not give those rumours any oxygen for now.

The Ferns have enjoyed a pretty nice run of major tournaments, courtesy of them qualifying through an Oceania Confederation that no longer contains Australia.

At some point, they must start capitalising on those opportunities, like their junior squad did in 2018 U17 World Cup, where they finished third.

Early indications are the Tokyo Olympics may not be that breakthrough, with New Zealand drawn in the 'Pool of Death', consisting of world champions USA, fifth-ranked (and Rio 2016 silver medallists) Sweden and the ninth-ranked Aussies.

By comparison, New Zealand are ranked 22nd. If Australia are their most beatable opponents in Olympic pool play, the Ferns lost 2-0 to them at the 2019 Cup of Nations tournament, but drew 1-1 in a 2016 two-match series.

Football Ferns to join anti-racism movement by taking knee before Olympics opener

New Zealand's Football Ferns will join the global movement for greater racial equality in sport by taking a knee moments before their opening match at the Tokyo Olympics against Australia.

New Zealand Olympic Committee chef de mission Rob Waddell fully backs the players, as they become some of the first Olympic athletes to advocate for social justice under new International Olympic Committee guidelines.

"We are delighted that the IOC has made room for athletes to use their voices for good at the Olympic Games and are proud of our athletes for making a global stand for greater racial equality," says Waddell.

"We fully support athlete advocacy where the New Zealand team values are upheld."

Racism in football has been a hot topic in recent weeks. Earlier this month, a trio of black England players were victims of rampant abuse on social media, after missing their penalty attempts in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

NZ Football Ferns
NZ Football Ferns. Photo credit: Photosport

The NZ women have been drawn in what has been labelled the 'group of death' in Japan, alongside world champions USA, Rio 2016 silver medallists Sweden and the formidable Australians.

"Any other time we come up against this calibre of competition, we trust ourselves," says star striker Hannah Wilkinson. 

"It's like what Tom [Sermanni] said, despite being apart for 16 months, we still have such a good, strong base as a unified group.

"That's something that we tend to have an advantage over teams in that way. We've been together for so long. Each one of us has very good relationships on the field, just because we've played together for so long."