Football Ferns chase quarterfinal spot

By the time the Football Ferns kick off their final Olympic group match against Cameroon tomorrow morning (NZT) they will know exactly what they need to do to qualify for the quarterfinals, if in fact that chance is still alive. While matches in each pool will be played simultaneously on the final day of group action, New Zealands group is the last to get underway meaning the qualification equation will be clear by the time the Ferns kick off at 7.45pm local time. The Ferns are aiming to claim one of two quarterfinal spots available for the best third-placed finishers; spots currently held by Canada and North Korea with three points apiece heading into the final day. If either lose their tough respective final matches against Sweden or USA, or if France suffer a shock upset to Colombia, New Zealand can overtake them with a victory over the Africans. Depending on the way the results fall earlier in the day the margin of New Zealands victory may also come into play although the Football Ferns goal difference is already better than the Koreans. Well know by kickoff what we need to do and if theres anything we can do, said New Zealand coach Tony Readings. Were hoping that goal difference doesnt become a factor and we just need to win to go through but if it does then well do what we need to do. If we have to attack with more numbers and play with more risk then well do it. Well do whatever we have to. There are no second chances. Readings says the two 1-0 losses to heavyweights Great Britain and Brazil have left the players disappointed but hungry. The thing we are desperate to do is have an opportunity to make it through to the quarterfinals because we feel we deserve to be there. Weve got another gear to go up. Weve said we wanted to grow throughout this tournament. We were good in the first game, better against Brazil and we need to be better again tomorrow to get the result we need. The players are really fired up. When weve lost at these events in the past we perhaps held on for a little bit in those games without really been competitive like we have in this tournament. Theres definitely a point to prove and some unfinished business for the players as we all feel a little bit robbed by the results in the first two games to be honest. Readings will have one change forced upon him with striker Hannah Wilkinson suspended for picking up two yellow cards in the opening matches while other changes if any are likely to come in midfield where Hayley Moorwood, Kirsty Yallop, Betsy Hassett and Annalie Longo are essentially competing for two spots alongside Katie Hoyle and Amber Hearn. The match kicks off at 6.45am tomorrow morning (NZT). Womens Olympic Football Tournament Group E New Zealand v Cameroon City of Coventry Stadium, Coventry 7.45pm July 31 (6.45am, August 1 NZT) Live on Sky Sport 4
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