NZ beat Papua New Guinea in Oceania Cup final
It was never in doubt but New Zealand can officially start planning for next year's women's football World Cup after emphatically clinching the Oceania Nations Cup title.
New Zealand made light work of Papua New Guinea in today's final, easing to a 11-0 win before a crowd of about 500 people at North Harbour Stadium's outer oval to qualify for Germany 2011, their second successive World Cup finals appearance.
Rosie White scored four goals before being substituted after an hour, while fellow striker Hannah Wilkinson scored a quick first-half double and Ria Percival, Ali Riley, Sarah Gregorius, Amber Hearn and captain Hayley Moorwood completed the scoring.
Riley, recently named rookie of the year in America's Women's Professional Soccer league, was a standout at fullback, though it was hard not to impress in such a one-sided contest.
New Zealand ended the tournament with 50 goals from five qualifying matches, while conceding none.
"We weren't sure how this would go today because PNG have pushed forward over the last two years, but so have we and we just play a much better brand of football now," New Zealand coach John Herdman said.
"You never take these things for granted and we certainly put a bit of work in to make sure we kept our standards."
Herdman, who coached New Zealand at the 2007 World Cup in China, said they had already started planning for Germany.
They will play South Korea and England at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea starting on October 17, with an appearance at the Cyprus Cup early next year and a handful of matches en route to Germany in June.
Moorwood, a player at China four years ago, said the exuberant scenes after today's match showed just how much it meant to the team to have qualified.
"We wanted to not just win, but win well, and practice our habits that we want to take into big games," the midfielder said.
"It's a huge honour, being able to captain a New Zealand team which goes to a World Cup again. We're really excited and looking forward to the build up games."
New Zealand 11 (Rosie White 4, Hannah Wilkinson 2, Ali Riley, Ria Percival, Sarah Gregorius, Amber Hearn, Hayley Moorwood)
Papua New Guinea 0