As it happened: Spain bring Young Football Ferns' historic World Cup run to an end with clinical semi-final win

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of this morning's Women's U17s FIFA World Cup semi-final between the Young Football Ferns and Spain from Estadio Charrua in Montevideo, Uruguay.


The final whistle goes and with it NZ's brilliant run at this year's U17 World Cup. Spain simply suffocated NZ out of this match with domination in possession and in the end converted on the opportunities they were able to make. NZ isn't done though. They'll play in the bronze medal match later this week. That's all from us in Montevideo this morning. Have a good day.

88min: NZL 0-2 ESP

SAVE! Wisnewski gets an intercept and immediately goes on a solo counterattack. She gets into the box fending off Aixa but can't get a clean shot away with all the pressure. In the end, it dribbles to the Spanish keeper for an easy save.

86min: NZL 0-2 ESP

The first yellow card of the march is handed out and it foes to Aixa after a contest on van der Meer that got no touch of the ball whatsoever. NZ free kick near haflway on the left side of the field.

83min: NZL 0-2 ESP

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

SAVE! NZ's best attack of the second half is foiled. A perfectly-weighted pass from Cunningham-Lee is there for Hahn in the box but Spain's goalie has read it well and comes charging out to stop it. Hahn goes for the shot but it's deflected and sails into touch. NZ throwing the kitchen sink at this now.

82min: NZL 0-2 ESP

SAVE! NZ get the ball back and attack down the left edge with Cunningham-Lee. She links up with Abbott who fires one from well outside the box. It's on target but easy enough to read for a save.

80min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Spain chewing up the clock now as the back four pass the ball back and forth to kill the clock.

77min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Another change for Spain. Striker Salma is off and defender Aixa is on - says what Spain is looking to do from here out, really. 

76min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Final changes for NZ. Pratt is in for Jenkins and Cunningham-Lee is in for Brown.

73min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Spain get a corner kick but can't do much with it and it's a goal kick for NZ. Goalscorer Lopez is off for Spain and Arana is on for her.

72min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Spain launch a counterattack from deep in their half and fire a long ball to the left corner. Navarro is racing Mackay-Wright to it but the Kiwi gets there and flicks it into touch.

69min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Spain show promise with a ball toward's NZ's box but the flag goes up to stop it. Replays show it was a definite offside. NZ have 21 minutes to turn it around.

66min: NZL 0-2 ESP

A great counterattack from NZ as Rennie darts down the left with plenty of space ahead of her. She's one-on-one with Tejada as she reaches the box. Finally gets around her and flicks a cross in for support. It's given back to her and she strikes it but it's not clean and well over the goal. NZ giving it their all but Spain standing strong at the back.

63min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Stoppage in play as one of the Spanish players is down after a heavy collision. It'll be NZ's ball just outside their box when play starts again after Spain intercepted NZ's earlier throw-in and cleared it.

61min: NZL 0-2 ESP

NZ thread a ball down the right wing and it sits up well but Spain get to it first and tap it into touch. NZ throw in near Spain's box coming up.

58min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Another well worked play from Spain gets them into NZ's box on the right but there's three defenders there to meet it and shut it down. Another clearance. Good to see Spain still attacking and pushing the tempo instead of shutting-up shop.

55min: NZL 0-2 ESP

Spain earn a corner kick and fire it in but it sails too deep. NZ's defence clear but Spain are dominating possession right now - 68 per cent. NZ need to change something here if they want to get back in this game.

53min: NZL 0-2 ESP

First change by NZ. Hahn is on for Fraser.

50min: NZL 0-2 ESP

SAVE! Spain straight back on the attack as they attack down the right again. One-one-one and Leat comes charging out to stop it. Gets the deflection and sends it away for a corner. Well played by the Kiwi keeper. She follows it up moments later with a much easier save.

48min: NZL 0-2 ESP

ESP GOAL! A wonderful strike from Irene Lopez puts Spain two clear. A cross comes in which again, Mackay-Wright reads well and headers away. A much better clearance but Lopez is waiting just outside the box. Strikes the volley brilliantly and curves way away from Leat to hit the right post and go in. No stopping that. Superb strike.

46min: NZL 0-1 ESP

NZ get a great chance early as a ball is fed to Jenkins on the right. She's in the box but the ball is just a bit too far ahead of her and she can't get a clean strike on it. Another easy save.

45min: NZL 0-1 ESP

Back underway with NZ.


Halftime and Spain head to the sheds in front. A hard-fought first half from both sides. Spain owned most of the possession but NZ were making more chances until Pina came up with the goal. NZ will need to keep tight defensively on their left wing as that seems to be where Spain wants to play. On attack, their making chances but just lacking that final blow. Besides Fraser's strike hitting the crossbar, the finishes have been easy saves so far. We'll be back soon to see if NZ can turn it around!

44min: NZL 0-1 ESP

NZ get a free kick just outside Spain's box. The kick comes in and Abbott is there for it but so is Spain's goalie. The pair collide and the goalie holds on to shut down the attack.

42min: NZL 0-1 ESP

Spain holding possession now and looking to build something from the back. Couple minutes left for NZ to strike back but Spain aren't making it easy with their passes.

39min: NZL 0-1 ESP

ESP GOAL! Spain are relentless and finally find the breakthrough! It takes three feeds in under a minute but Pina finally finds a chance and puts it in the back of the net. Navarro fired in a cross from the right which Mackay-Wright read well but her clearing header wasn't enough and Pina took advantage. Solid strike and Spain are in front.

36min: NZL 0-0 ESP

SAVE! NZ gets a throw in and attack down the left wing. Jenkins has it and flicks on towards goal but there's not a lot of power behind it and it's an easy save.

34min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Spain again attack on the right wing but fire in a cross this time. Pina gets it and fires the shot. It beats Leat but sails just wide of the right post. Both sides trading chances here.

31min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Spain with a chance now as Barry is penalised for a handball just outside NZ's box on the right. The kick comes in but Mackay-Wright reads it and headers it away. Spain try a desparation shot from outside and it sails well high.

29min: NZL 0-0 ESP

SAVE! Another attack from NZ down the right shows promise as Rennie gets into space. She brings it to the box and flicks it back to Fraser. Fraser lets rip and it the keeper JUST gets her fingertips to it to flick it upwards and hits the crossbar! NZ unlucky to not take the lead there. A brilliant strike from Fraser.

26min: NZL 0-0 ESP

SAVE! NZ back on the attack as a pass is threaded behind Spain's line on the right. Rennie is there for it and takes it into the box. She has players in the middle but fires herself. It's on target but saved easily enough.

24min: NZL 0-0 ESP

NZ's first real chance comes as Rennie chases a ball into the box. She's being challenged but gets the kick off and it's deflected for a corner kick.

21min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Spain finally attack down the left wing and they're into the box with Salma. Mittendorff comes sliding in with a great tackle and gets the ball away for NZ to clear. NZ's defence continues to hold off the Spanish advance.

19min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Spain persist with the attack down the right wing. Navarro is one-on-one with Barry and Barry makes a brilliant stop. Navarro then grabs her jersey to stop a counter and gives away a free kick. Probably didn't like getting shut down so effectively!

16min: NZL 0-0 ESP

NZ get a free kick near half way. Mittendorff sends it up and it's recovered by Brown just outside the box. She turns and hoists a lofted ball towards the goal. It's close but just wide of the right post! A lot closer than the Spanish goalie thought too...

14min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Some fine individual work from Mittendorff earns NZ a corner kick. The kick sails wide and Spain intercept it. But the Kiwis apply pressure and force a turnover. Throw in near Spain's goal.

12min: NZL 0-0 ESP

The corner kick sails well clear of the target and NZ get a goal kick off a wild header. Great work from Leat so far.

11min: NZL 0-0 ESP

SAVE! Another great pass for the right wing puts Navarro one-on-one with Leat. Leat comes out and dives at the ball for a clean challenge, sending it dead. Navarro is hit in the play and stays on the ground looking for the penalty but the ref gestures for a corner kick.

10min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Spain again attack down the right wing but Mittenforff stays with the chase and shuts it down with a great challenge in the box. Gets the ball away and Barry kicks it into touch. Spain persist on the right wing and earn a corner kick. It comes in but Leat reads it well and takes a clean catch.

7min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Spain get their first chance of the game with a beautiful pass threaded through NZ's line near the box. But The kick ahead has just too much weight and Leat is there to scoop it up. NZ respond immediately down the right wing and fire in a cross which the Spanish goalie intercepts. Both times not holding back early.

5min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Spain's first attack down the right wing is foiled by Brown who comes back to help her defenders and gets the intercept. NZ launch a counterattack and Jenkins is in space near the goal with the ball coming but the flag goes up! Replays show she was about half a metre offside.

2min: NZL 0-0 ESP

Early error from Spain as a kick sails overhead and into touch deep in their territory. Early nerves or just getting used to the conditions? NZ throw in and attack down the left wing, forcing a corner kick! First chance sails in and it's deflected away. Fiery start.


We're underway in Montevideo! Spain gets us going.


It's raining in Montevideo and it doesn't look like easing to throw a spanner in the mix. 18 degrees on the pitch. Light 11km/h wind blowing across the field too.


COLONIA, URUGUAY - NOVEMBER 24 : New Zealand celebrates after defeating Japan in penalty kicks during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018 quarter final match at Estadio Profesor Alberto Suppici on November 24, 2018 in Colonia, Uruguay. (Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
The U17 Football Ferns celebrate after defeating Japan in penalty kicks during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018 quarter final. Source: Getty

The U17 Football Ferns will look to continue their historic run at this year's World Cup but they face tough opposition in La Roja this morning.

After ending Japan's 15-match unbeaten streak in an epic quarter-final, the Kiwi underdogs square off with Spain for a ticket to the final.

They've already made history making it this far - the deepest a New Zealand football team has gone in a World Cup - but the team is confident they can go even further.

Captain Aneka Mittendorff and goalkeeper Anna Leat told TVNZ1's Breakfast earlier this week the team embraced their penalty shootout win over the Asian giants but were remaining composed.

"We're still focused and grounded," Mittendorff said.

"We're just going to keep up the positive vibes that are happening in the campaign at the moment."

Leat added they know they face a big challenge in football giants Spain, but they're used to the underdogs tag.

"New Zealand usually is [underdogs] so we're pretty happy, I think everyone is pretty comfortable with that title and it just adds to the joy of it when you get those results."

The Football Ferns reached the knockout stages after getting out of Group A with impressive wins over Finland (1-0) and Uruguay (2-1). They suffered a 2-0 loss to Ghana in their final pool game.

Spain are undefeated at the tournament so far after going through Group D with wins over South Korea (4-0) and Canada (5-0) and a 1-1 draw with Colombia. They beat North Korea on penalties in the quarter-finals to set up today's match.

In three previous meetings at the U17 World Cup, Spain has won all three matches, outscoring the Football Ferns 8-1 overall.


NZL: 1. Anna Leat, 2. Mackenzie Barry, 3. Hannah Mackay-Wright, 4. Aneka Mittendorff (c), 5. Marisa van der Meer, 6. Macey Fraser, 7. Gabi Rennie, 8. Amelia Abbott, 9. Maggie Jenkins, 10. Grace Wisnewski, 11. Kelli Brown

NZL subs: 12. Jayda Stewart, 13. Britney Cunningham-Lee, 14. Laney Strachan, 15. Genevieve Ryan, 16. Maya Hahn, 17, Ayla Pratt, 18. Rose Luxton, 19. Arabella Maynard, 20. Georgia Candy, 21. Blair Currie 

ESP: 13. Cata, 2. Nerea Nevado, 3. Tejada, 5. Jana, 6. Irene, 7. Paola H.D, 10. Pina (c), 11. Salma, 17. M. Mendez, 18. Eva Navarro, 19. Eva Alonso

ESP subs: 1. Paula S. Is, 4. Teresa, 8. Isa, 9. Mabel, 12. Leire, 15. Naroa, 16. Arana, 20. Maria, 21. Aixa S. G, 14. Ainhoa M.

More From