Kiwis off and running in Japan
New Zealand got their FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup off to a winning start as they saw off Switzerland 2-1 in Miyagi.
Evie Millynn and Rosie White provided the goals as the All Whites struck either side of half-time to triumph in the 150th game in U-20 Women's World Cup history, with Eseosa Aigbogun grabbing a late consolation goal.
Both sides came into the game on the back of losing streaks at this level, with Switzerland the more alarming having lost six on the trot, and it was the Oceanic side who began quickest.
Just three minutes were on the clock when Rebecca Burrows’ close range header forced Swiss goalkeeper Pascale Kuffer into a fine stop with her legs. Carmen Pulver came close for the Europeans soon after, her strike from outside the box whistling just over.
With half-time approaching New Zealand struck. Olivia Chance made an excellent run down the left, before driving a cross across goal which left Kuffer stranded, allowing Millynn to slide the ball home.
White struck quickly after the break to leave the Kiwis in a commanding position, taking advantage of an out of position Kuffer to strike spectacularly from distance.
Switzerland passed up chances to peg their opponents back, with Cora Caneta and Aigbogun both squandering opportunities, before combining in stoppage time for the latter to score, but it was too little too late.
“In the previous tournament, we played very offensively, but nevertheless, not only that we weren’t able to score goals, we allowed multiple goals to our opponents,” said Switzerland coach Yannick Schwery.