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OlyWhites receive favourable draw for Tokyo, Football Ferns in group of death

The OlyWhites have received a favourable draw for the Tokyo Games, instilling hope the side can secure its first ever victory at the Olympics.

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The Football Ferns have been drawn into the group of death for Tokyo, while the OlyWhites were given a favourable draw. Source: 1 NEWS

The OlyWhites were drawn alongside South Korea, Honduras and Romania in Group B, with the first match scheduled for July 22 against London 2012 bronze medallists South Korea.

Former All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen was in charge of drawing the teams at the ceremony in Zurich, and OlyWhites coach Danny Hay joked he owed him a drink.

“There are no easy games in international football but it is fair to say we did manage to avoid some of the traditionally bigger nations, I probably owe Ryan a drink for that.

“We just can’t wait to get over there now and start playing to properly test ourselves and on the world stage.”

The New Zealand men's side participated in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, only managing a draw and two losses at both events.

The Football Ferns were drawn alongside the USA, Sweden and Australia in Group G and will kick off with a trans-Tasman clash against the Matildas on July 21.

“We are in a group with three other very strong teams, including the world champions, but these are the opportunities we want to prove ourselves at the highest level.” said Football Ferns coach Tom Sermanni.

“After not being able to play for the past year it is brilliant to finally have our opponents for Toyko 2020 confirmed and we couldn’t have picked a better first opponent in our FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 co-hosts Australia.

“The whole squad are now just enormously excited to get to Japan and get the competition underway.”

The Football Ferns finished ninth at Rio 2016, eighth at London 2012 and tenth at Beijing 2008.