Football Ferns 1 Italy 0

An Amber Hearn goal on half hour mark proved to be the winner and ensured the Ferns added a new European scalp to that of world number 17 Netherlands at the same event last year.
Rosie White was the chief creator, beating two players and providing a pinpoint cross for Hearn to drift between two markers and meet with powerful header.
“The girls really stepped up tonight,” said New Zealand head coach John Herdman, “we were strong all over the pitch. It was a throwback to the performance against the Dutch last year when we really hit our straps.”
“The players were really satisfied at the end of the game. They worked really hard against a very organised Italian outfit, but stuck to their task.
The win comes after back to back 3-0 home losses to Australia last week, and is a remarkable turnaround against an Italian side that dismantled the Matildas 5-1 in Sydney last year.
“Those two games against Australia were great preparation but prompted a bit of soul searching. We were happy with the performance in the second game but we lacked quality in front of goal. We got that quality tonight as the combination of Hearn and White was outstanding”
Herdman also paid tribute to the returning VfL Wolfsburg defender Rebecca Smith, who missed the Australian series.
“When you get professional players Rebecca Smith and Ali Riley in the mix consistently it makes a huge difference.
“Bex Smith really is our team’s Ryan Nelsen. She came in and solidified the back four and added leadership as well.
Next up for the Ferns is a rematch against the Netherlands who head Group A thanks to a comfortable 4-1 win over Scotland.
A second straight win for either side would all but book a place in the final of the eight team tournament and Herdman expects the chance of revenge to provide the Dutch with extra incentive.
“They’re coming off the back of making the European Championship semi-finals and are now full time professionals. They looked organised, sharp, and cohesive today.
“Without a doubt they will be up for the match, but we’ve got the mental edge thanks to that win.”
With just a day off between match day two, New Zealand would closely monitor the health of a group of four players, including captain Hayley Moorwood suffering from a suspected virus.
In Group B fixtures England defeated South Africa 1-0 and Canada edged Switzerland 2-1.
For full schedule and results visit www.cypruswomenscup.com
2010 Cyprus Women’s Cup
GSP Stadium,
Nicosia, Cyprus
New Zealand 1 (Amber Hearn 30) Italy 0
Halftime: 1-0
New Zealand: 1-Jenny BINDON (GK), 3-Anna GREEN, 4-Katie HOYLE, 5-Abby ERCEG, 6-Rebecca SMITH, 7-Ali RILEY, 8-Hayley MOORWOOD, 9-Amber HEARN (16-Emma KETE 80), 11-Kirsty YALLOP (12-Betsy HASSETT 70), 14-Rosie WHITE (17-Hannah WILKINSON 90), 15-Hannah WALL (10-Annalie LONGO 78).
Substitutes not used: 2-Liz MILNE, 18-Kristy HILL, 20-Aroon CLANSEY (RGK).
Coach: John Herdman
For all results and standings, click here.
Upcoming fixtures
February 27, 1am (NZT)
New Zealand v the Netherlands
Ammochostos Stadium
Larnaca, Cyprus
March 2, 1am (NZT)
New Zealand v Scotland
GSZ Stadium
Larnaca, Stadium
Story courtesy NZ Football.

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