Football Ferns to appeal red card

7:06 pm on 7 August 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics - The Football Ferns will appeal a controversial red card given to captain Abby Erceg during their vital 1-0 win over Colombia, says coach Tony Readings.

New Zealand's Amber Hearn celebrates her goal during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games first round Group G women's football match Colombia vs New Zealand at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on August 6, 2016.

Amber Hearn celebrates her goal against Colombia with her teammates at the Rio Olympics. Photo: AFP

As things stand, Erceg would miss New Zealand's final group stage game against France at the Rio Olympics, but Readings said the decision must be overturned.

"When [the ref] pulled out the red card, 'surprised' would be an understatement, and 'disappointed' would also be an understatement," he said.

"We've spoken to people here and are just trying to find out the process [for appealing] but if there's any integrity in this tournament they'll find a way to overturn the card."

The Football Ferns dominated the first half with an attacking style of play, with striker Amber Hearn scoring in the 31st minute of the game.

The South Americans lifted in the second half and the ball posession, as well as the shots on goal, evened out.

In the 88th minute, an innocuous tangle between Erceg and a Colombia player resulted in the latter going to ground and the red card being flashed, despite protests from her teammates and replays showing no damning evidence.

Colombia's resulting penalty kick was saved by keeper, Erin Nayler.

The Football Ferns' final group match against France takes place on Wednesday morning (NZ time).

They must win that match to be assured of a place in the quarter-finals, after France's 1-0 loss to the United States today.