As in 2015, the Orange Lionesses will take on Canada and New Zealand in the group stage of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup. Cameroon are the fourth country to be drawn in group E.
|Tuesday 11 June||15:00||Stade Océane, Le Havre||New Zealand||Netherlands|
|Zaterdag 15 juni||15:00||Stade du Heinaut, Valenciennes||Netherlands||Cameroon|
|Donderdag 20 juni||18:00||Stade Auguste Delaune, Reims||Netherlands||Canada|
Canada, holding the 5th spot in FIFA’s world rankings and the host country in 2015, are regular participants at the World Cup. The Netherlands have played Canada on 12 occasions. Nine of them ended in victory for Canada and there were three draws. The encounter between the two nations at the previous World Cup ended in a 1-1 draw, courtesy of a Kirsten van de Ven goal.
New Zealand have taken part in four previous World Cup and every time the Football Ferns finished fourth and last in their group. The New Zealand women qualified for France by lifting the OFC Women's Nations Cup. Tom Sermanni from Scotland has been New Zealand manager since 2018. The nation currently holds the 19th position in the FIFA rankings.
The Netherlands and New Zealand faced each other six times, mostly during the Cyprus Cup. The most memorable match, from a Dutch perspective, was the Netherland’ World Cup debut in 2015, in which Lieke Martens Netherlands scored a tremendous goal to beat New Zealand.
Like the Netherlands, Cameroon also made their debut at the World Cup four years ago and will be competing at the finals for a second time. Ranking 46th in the FIFA rankings, the 'Indomitable Lionesses' earned qualification for next year's World Cup by finishing third in the Women's Africa Cup of Nations 2018.
Attending the ceremony in Paris, Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman said she was pleased with the draw.
"This isn’t bad at all," Wiegman said. "It’s been a while since we played those countries [2015 World Cup, ed.] and we’ve never played against Cameroon. But we’re familiar with the philosophy of all three countries and will be studying our opponents in the coming months."
The Netherlands will be playing their Group E matches in Le Havre, Valenciennes and Reims. All three venues are in the north of France, much to Wiegman’s delight. "Temperatures in northern France are usually more favourable than in the south of the country and of course these cities are easier to reach for our fans. It would be very nice if we could count on massive support from our Oranje fans at the World Cup next year."