Football Ferns face tough road in Tokyo

The Football Ferns will have a road at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Getty Images
The Football Ferns will have a road at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Getty Images
The Football Ferns' are set for an uphill battle at the Tokyo Games after being placed in a particularly difficult draw to start the tournament.

The women's side have drawn Group G where they will face reigning world champions the United States, rivals Australia, and Sweden - who they have never played.

The football games will be the first to get underway in Tokyo with the women's event starting on July 21 - two days before the opening ceremony.

The Football Ferns will kick off first against Australia before playing the US three days later and Sweden on July 27. They'll need to finish in the top two or as one of the two best third-placed teams in order to advance to the quarterfinals.

The Football Ferns' best finish in their three previous Olympic campaigns was a quarterfinal finish in London 2012.

Meanwhile, the Oly Whites national under-24 men's team have managed to avoid heavyweights Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Spain and France to be drawn with South Korea, Honduras and Romania.

They've never made it past the group stages in two previous participations.

Women's draw

Group E: Japan, Great Britain, Canada, Chile
Group F: Netherlands, Brazil, China, Zambia
Group G: New Zealand, USA, Sweden, Australia

Men's draw

Group A: Japan, Mexico, South Africa, France
Group B: New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania
Group C: Argentina, Spain, Egypt, Australia
Group D: Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia

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