Football World Cup: Michaela Foster to provide timely boost to New Zealand for crucial clash with Swiss

The Football Ferns could receive a timely boost heading into their critical World Cup showdown with Switzerland on Sunday.

On Thursday, promising fullback Michaela Foster took full part in the team's training, as they chase the victory that would seal their place in the round of 16.

The 24-year-old Wellington Phoenix star missed the opening two games of the NZ campaign due to a leg injury, but would be a welcome addition if she's available for their final group A fixture in Dunedin.

The daughter of All Blacks coach Ian Foster, she likely wouldn't start for the Ferns, but she does provide valuable impact off the bench as a set-piece specialist.

"[Foster] has done so well in the past year to get herself in here and we would love to have her on the field," said defender Rebekah Stott.

Michaela Foster with All Blacks coach dad Ian Foster.
Michaela Foster with All Blacks coach dad Ian Foster. Photo credit: Photosport

"It's great to have her back."

While the match isn't technically a must-win fixture, the Ferns are treating it as precisely that. 

A draw against the Swiss - who are leading the group - could be enough to send the Ferns through to the knockout stage, but they would then be forced to rely on either a draw or a one-goal victory for Norway in their final group game against the Philippines to advance.

Stott insists the squad had put the anguish of their upset defeat to the Philippines at Eden Park on Tuesday behind them and were ready to move on after some "hard conversations" during Wednesday's review session.

"We all reflected and looked at ourselves first and had meetings and there have been some hard conversations, but that's only going to help us," said Stott.

Midfielder Betsy Hassett says the team is embracing the fact that their destiny is in their own hands, with a chance to create another slice of Kiwi sporting folklore to add to their historic maiden NZ win at a World Cup for either gender.

"It's all in our hands," said Hassett.

"We're going to go out there to win the game - there's no doubt about that. We'll be fighting for every ball and stay connected and be on the same page."

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