Football Ferns battle to goalless draw against World Cup quarter-finalists Colombia

  • 03/12/2023
Katie Bowen of New Zealand in action.
Katie Bowen of New Zealand in action. Photo credit: Getty Images

Football Ferns have held World Cup quarter-finalists Colombia to a 0-0 draw at Bogota.

The hosts dictated play through the first half, but failed to turn their pressure into goals, as stand-in captain Rebekah Stott came to New Zealand's rescue early, with a critical block to deny Daniel Montoya their best chance of the contest.

The Ferns captured the momentum in the second stanza, but struggled to generate any genuine goalscoring opportunities, with promising build-up play breaking down in the redzone.

Malia Steinmetz was the most threatening for the Ferns, who pressed late in search of a winner that ultimately eluded them at Estadio El Campin.

Malia Steinmetz in action
Malia Steinmetz in action Photo credit: Getty Images

Despite the result, New Zealand will be satisfied with their improvement defensively, since their 2-0 series defeat in Chile in September.

Coach Jitka Klimkova said she was eager to see that trend continue in the second game.

"Definitely the same defensive effort like we had in this game," she said. "We were very compact, we were very hard to break down. 

"Colombia went behind us a few times so we need to clean that up. I want to see the same determination in the box. 

"I probably haven't seen our team defending the way how we have defended against Colombia and I was very proud of our players."

But with just one goal to their credit since the World Cup opener against Norway in July, Klimkova admits the Ferns' attack remains a sore point.

We want to keep the ball a little bit more," she added. "We'll play again in the altitude so if the ball will be moving, we will save our energy and wait for the right moment to penetrate forward, that's the first goal and the second one, we want to score.

"If we want to win the games, we need to find a way how we can put the ball into the net."

The teams will remain in Bogota for their second and final match of the series at Estadio Metropolitano de Techo on Wednesday.