New Zealand women's soccer coach Jitka Klimkova told reporters Thursday that Prime Minister Chris Hipkins congratulated the team after their historic win over Norway.
"He came to the locker room and he was very proud," Klimkova said. "It was a very nice moment for us to have this kind of guest."
New Zealand is known more for its rugby than soccer and Klimkova said Thursday she believes this World Cup will "wake up a lot of passion in football."
"I believe the performance and the result [will] keep inspiring the nation," Klimkova said.
"If we will have this crowd behind us every time we step on the field, that’s what we need. We need this kind of push.
"The fans for us are so important. I want to thank to them for coming and supporting us," she said. "I hope they will keep coming and the love for football will just grow in this country."