Aug. 22, 2012
MIYAGI, Japan – Incoming Tennessee player Hannah Wilkinson and New Zealand nearly stunned host nation Japan Wednesday morning with a 2-2 draw in 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup group play.
Wilkinson played 91 minutes for the Kiwis and her strong defensive play early resulted in a 1-0 New Zealand lead. In the 11th minute, Wilkinson caused havoc in the penalty area following a corner, forcing Japan’s Ayu Nakada to bundle the ball into her own goal.
Rosie White scored four minutes later to build New Zealand’s lead to 2-0. Japan stormed back with a goal in the 37th minute from Yoko Tanaka and one in the 71 minute from Ayaka Michigami.
Japan and New Zealand are the top two teams in Group A with 1-0-1 records and four points apiece. The top two teams from each of the four groups advance to play in the bracketed second stage.
Wilkinson and New Zealand will conclude group play against Mexico on Sunday in Kobe. The match starts at 6:20 a.m. ET. A win or tie for the Kiwis would send them into the second stage.