New Zealand Paige Satchel in action. Photo/Photosport
Defender Michaela Moore narrowly escaped another disaster as New Zealand ended their latest campaign with another disappointing performance in America.
Football Ferns, ranked 22nd in the world, drew 0-0 with the Czech League, which means that the Kiwis failed to score in the Shepliffs Cup.
After poor performances against Iceland and the United States, it came easy and was overtaken by the Czechs in frigid conditions in Texas during the last quarter.
Moore was one of three players to have fallen at the hands of coach Gitka Klimkova after she set a world record three goals against the tournament hosts in the previous game.
The unimaginable could have happened.
Moore, who came in the 82nd minute, while trying to cover a Czech cross, slipped to give the Czechs the best chance of the match, but goalkeeper Vic Esson managed to avoid Katrina Koterkova.
Moore managed to block a powerful shot on goal as the Ferns football team clung to a tie.
In the end, we can say that the New Zealanders were lucky that they did not lose.
And the Czech team was blocked twice when long-range shots hit the crossbar, as well as in the case of offside from a subsequent pass.
Perhaps the best individual skill came from Michaela Khairova, who tricked veteran defender Abby Ercig before being saved by Eason.
Franz’s best chance came with a long streak from CJ Butt in the second half, but she fired into the side netting. Ria Percival also hit the crossbar, but Verne was unable to create clear chances.
The Czech Republic found riches and the match continued on the basis of elegant striker Andrea Staskova, who was involved in the second half.
The Czech team also finished the tournament without a win, but they managed to score a goal against Iceland, and they would have made this final more satisfying than any team.
Meanwhile, Football Ferns and their Czech coach Klimkova face a near impossible task as they attempt to stage a competitive campaign as co-hosts for next year’s World Cup. And to add a lively note about New Zealand’s national team, the Czech Republic is battling to qualify for the World Cup in a UEFA group led by the Netherlands and Iceland.
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