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New Zealand A lose to USA U-19

The home side went ahead in the 8th minute when striker Jane Barnett made the most of some space to hammer home a left foot strike past American keeper Samantha Leshnak.
The highly touted young visitors rallied and forward Marrissa Everett bagged a quick-fire brace shortly after half-time to secure victory over their more fancied rivals.
New Zealand A finished with a flourish, with substitute Paige Satchell showing her blistering pace, but were unable to find the back of the net in the closing stages.
Football Ferns coach Tony Readings, who was looking after the NZA team, said the game delivered exactly what they were after as they learned more about the players in contention for the Rio Olympics.
“We learned a huge amount today,” he said.
“Some players did well and stepped up, while others did not step up and it is good information for us looking forward.
“We have two more weeks now in training where players can press their claims.”
Meanwhile, USA Women’s U-19 coach Jitka Klimkova said she was proud of her girls’ performance.
“Sometimes you win the game and you are lucky but today I would say that we deserved to win,” she said.
“We were expecting a different result so we are happy with the result and the performance.”
New Zealand A began the game well with Football Ferns Annalie Longo, Betsy Hassett and Hannah Wilkinson dominating the ball in the middle of the park.
They looked good going forward and their creativity set up the first chance for Barnett who did not hesitate in slotting home her goal for New Zealand.
That goal kick-started the Americans into action and they pressed hard up the pitch to get the equaliser.
Skipper Jordan DiBiasi, who was the heartbeat of the American attack, delivered a free-kick in the 33rd minute which caused the NZA defence some problems.
Cyera Hintzen also had a scoring chance but it blazed across the face of goal and the home side went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.
The USA U-19s hit the ground running in the second half and Ferns defender Meikayla Moore cleared a dangerous chance and was injured in a collision in the process.
But the pressure kept coming and Everett converted two chances on goal to take the lead. The first came from a high cross which she managed to get down and beat Ferns keeper Erin Nayler.
The second, which came only minutes later on the back of a counterattack saw Everett in space on the right edge of the box and she hammered home for a great goal.
“The whole team played much better in the second half and Marrissa’s goals were just the cherry on the cake,” said Klimkova.
From there the Kiwis fought valiantly but could not string together the final pass to equalise and the USA U-19s were deserved winners.
Readings got what he wanted out of the match. The result was not as important as the information he needed on the contenders.
“Ideally it would have been good to win the game because we always want to win, but we learned a lot. We came away with a clearer picture of what we need to do for Rio.”
The USA U-19 team will continue their tour with two matches against the New Zealand U-20 side on Friday and Sunday afternoon at Auckland’s QBE Stadium.
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football

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