Brazil will travel to New Zealand to play the Football Ferns in a pair of mid-June international friendlies. The teams will meet on June 16 in Auckland and on June 19 in Taupo, the New Zealand Football Federation announced.
Both matches fall within FIFA’s international women’s fixtures dates.
The matchups provide a rare chance for New Zealand fans to see their team at home and an even more scarce opportunity to see Brazil play at all. Brazil, ranked No. 6 in the world, traditionally plays fewer matches than the rest of the world’s top teams. The Brazilians are set to play world No. 4 France on June 11 in Cayenne, French Guiana, before heading to New Zealand. France will play the United States in a pair of Stateside games on June 14 and June 19.
New Zealand will be playing at home for the first time in two years, having beaten China twice in June 2012 in Auckland.
“We don’t often get to play at home and to be doing so against a nation such as Brazil – with all their football tradition and heritage – it’s going to be a real treat for our fans,” New Zealand coach Tony Readings said.
New Zealand beat Brazil in September en route to winning the Valais Cup in Switzerland. It was the first-ever win over Brazil for a New Zealand team at any age level. The Football Ferns, currently ranked 20th in the world, went on to earn a draw in one of their two matches against the United States the following month.
But the Cyprus Cup in March wasn’t kind to New Zealand. Reading’s side finished 11th out of 12 teams, beating Finland 1-0 in the placement match two days after being thrashed by Korea Republic, 4-0. Still, the results of late 2013 are encouraging for the emerging young team.
“It’s exciting that we’ve been able to secure Brazil for this series and it shows how far we’ve come in the last few years that we’re now able to attract the top teams in the world to visit New Zealand to play us,” Readings said.
New Zealand’s roster for June friendlies vs. Brazil:
Erin Nayler (15/0 – Glenfield Rovers)
Rebecca Rolls (18/0 – Three Kings Utd)
Katie Bowen (18/0 – University of North Carolina, USA)
Abby Erceg (capt, 97/4 – Chicago Red Stars, USA)
Meikayla Moore (6/0 – Coastal Spirit FC)
Ria Percival (89/8 – USV Jena, GER)
Ali Riley (77/1 – FC Rosengard, SWE)
Rebekah Stott (23/0 – SC Sand, GER)
Daisy Cleverley (0/0 – Forrest Hill Milford Utd AFC)
Betsy Hassett (63/6 – Manchester City FC, ENG)
Katie Hoyle (87/1 – Notts County FC, ENG)
Annalie Longo (62/1 – Coastal Spirit FC)
Kirsty Yallop (79/12 – Vittsjo GIK, SWE)
Helen Collins (18/0 – Claudelands Rovers)
Sarah Gregorius (51/18 – Eastern Suburbs AFC)
Amber Hearn (83/36 – USV Jena, GER)
Rosie White (56/10 – UCLA, USA)
Hannah Wilkinson (56/19 – University of Tennessee, USA)
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