The Football Ferns will play fellow FIFA Women’s World Cup contestants Norway in two international friendlies in Spain in April.
The Tom Sermanni-coached team will take on the World No 13 Norway in Marbella on 5 and 9 April as both teams prepare for the World Cup in June.
Norway have qualified for eight FIFA Women’s World Cups since the tournament began in 1991. They were the champions in 1995 when they defeated Germany in the final. They also won the Olympic Gold Medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The Maren Mjelde captained side, who plays alongside Football Ferns captain Ali Riley at Chelsea in England, have won the Algarve Cup in Portugal four times.
Sermanni said, on the back of the inaugural Cup of Nations in Australia this month, Norway would be another chance to keep building for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“It is great to have these international friendlies with Norway in April confirmed,” said Sermanni. “These fixtures are a good fit for us for a number of reasons. It is against quality opposition, playing in Spain will be close for our European and American-based players and with the length of the camp we can do a good amount of work together on the training field. We are looking forward to it.”
New Zealand have played Norway in six international friendlies in their history with the two-time European champions having won three of those, there have been two draws and one victory for the Ferns in 1981.
The last time the Ferns played Norway was in 2014 where they played two internationals in Stavanger, they drew the opening game 1-1 and lost the second game 2-0.
Norway have been drawn in Group A of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with hosts France, South Korea and Nigeria, while the Football Ferns are in Group E with European champions the Netherlands, Canada and Cameroon.
Football Ferns – International Calendar in 2019
Cup of Nations
Australia v New Zealand
Date: Thursday 28 February
Venue: Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah (Sydney), New South Wales
Argentina v New Zealand
Date: Sunday 3 March
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland
Korea Republic v New Zealand
Date: Wednesday 6 March
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne, Victoria
Norway v New Zealand
Date: 5 and 9 April (Two internationals)
Venue: Marbella, Spain
USA v New Zealand
Date: Thursday 16 May 7pm CT (Friday 17 May, 12pm NZT)
Venue: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw (NZT)
New Zealand v Netherlands
Date: 12 June, 1am
Venue: Stade Oceane Le Havre
New Zealand v Canada
Date: 16 June, 7am
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
New Zealand v Cameroon
Date: 21 June, 4am
Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier