Women’s World Cup 2023: New Zealand fans express ‘disappointment’ and ‘pride’ following their country’s elimination.
When the full-time whistle blew, there was quiet inside Shed 6 on Wellington’s waterfront, signaling the end of New Zealand’s Women’s World Cup quest.
Then there was a burst of applause from the hundreds of New Zealanders watching on a giant screen in the capital.
The co-hosts departed the tournament at 20:58 local time on Sunday after claiming a historic first win over Norway on the opening night of the event.
The Football Ferns finished with four points from three games, the same as Norway, who thrashed the Philippines 6-0 in their third group play.
Norway, along with Group A winners Switzerland, advanced to the knockout stage due to their better goal difference.
When the fourth official signaled a minimum of eight minutes of stoppage time in the New Zealand-Switzerland match, fans erupted.
And there were cheers and whistles when Football Ferns goalkeeper Victoria Esson went up for a 96th-minute corner – and headed wide.
Even Japan fans, who are in town for Monday’s Group C match against Spain (08:00 BST kick-off), cheered each time New Zealand drove ahead.
As the Football Ferns fell agonizingly short, there was a strong sense of disappointment mingled with pride.
“There will be plenty more World Cups to come, and New Zealand’s women are only getting better and better at football,” said Terry Lynch, who watched the game with his son Dante on the big screen.
“I give the Football Ferns a lot of credit because they played fantastically.”
“Unfortunately, goals win games, and we didn’t get one.” You’re competing against the greatest in the world, and you have to be on top of your game at all times.
“But, for all the disappointment, there is a lot of pride that the ladies gave it their all.”
“I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in four years when the next World Cup comes around.” We will return.”
Despite their departure, the Football Ferns influenced people’s minds in New Zealand, according to Annie Kennedy.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re leaving, but I’m filled with hope,” she continued.
“There was such a sense of complacency in the country that New Zealand would not do well or achieve anything in this tournament.”
“However, that first win over Norway completely flipped everyone’s mindset into thinking, ‘This could be a thing.'” There is hope and belief where there was none previously. So I consider that a great success.”