Football Ferns to end year with two-match series in Colombia

Football Ferns.
Football Ferns. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Football Ferns will close out their 2023 campaign with a two-match series in Colombia.

The NZ women will travel to Bogota for games against the World Cup quarter-finalists on December 3 and December 6 (NZ time). The first fixture will be played at Estadio El Campin, with the second at Estadio Metropolitano de Techo.

The games will be the first for the New Zealanders, since they were swept 2-0 in their two-game series in Chile in September. Colombia currently sit 22nd in FIFA's rankings, four sports above the Football Ferns.

The last time the two teams met was at the Rio Olympics in 2016, when the NZ women prevailed 1-0.

Coach Jitka Klimkova says the tour will be an opportunity to end an action-packed year on a high.

"2023 has been a groundbreaking year for the Football Ferns and women's football in general in Aotearoa New Zealand," she said.  

"After a period of reflection and opportunities to learn from the past cycle, we now need to focus on the future and building a team to look forward to the Olympic qualifiers next year, and ultimately the FIFA Women's World Cup 2027.

"Colombia are a strong team with some outstanding individuals, who had a great FIFA Women's World Cup, so they will be a really good challenge for us, which is exactly what we want.

"It is great to wrap up 2023 with two great games ahead of another big year coming up in 2024."

The Ferns will have to make do without first-choice striker Hannah Wilkinson, who has two matches remaining on her three-game ban for making contact with an official in Chile.