AUCKLAND – The Football Ferns have struck goal scoring form in their penultimate pre-Olympic hit-out, winning 14-0 against Singapore in the city-state on Wednesday night.
Strikers Amber Hearn, Emma Kete and Renee Leota all scored their first international hat tricks with Hearn and Kete finding the back of the net four times.
Midfielders Kirsty Yallop (twice) and Merissa Smith also netted as New Zealand ran riot in each of the training match’s three periods, scoring four goals in the first half hour and five each in the next two 30 minute spells.
The lop-sided win is the Football Ferns’ largest in five years and eclipses a 9-0 victory over Thailand in 1991 as their biggest win against non-Oceania opposition.
The Football Ferns opened the scoring through a back post Yallop header in the second minute and never looked back with long range efforts from Hearn and Kete the pick of the night’s plentiful offerings.
New Zealand coach John Herdman praised the nature of the Ferns performance but quickly turned his attention to the New Zealand’s next game against Canada – the side’s final warm-up match before meeting Japan in their Olympic opener on August 6.
“Tonight was important. We always go into fixtures as the underdogs but we knew tonight we were the better team, and we played with confidence professionalism and ruthlessness,” Herdman said.
“The key now is they take this into the Canada game on Friday.”
“It’s our last opportunity to scalp a top 10 team and send out a message before the Olympics.
“We’ve had the attitude in the games against Australia and China, but tonight they had the killer instinct and players were prepared to put their bodies on the line to score goals. There was just that extra bit of quality tonight.
“It was a step we needed to take. We’ve worked hard on our finishing in the last few days and internally the team asked some questions of our attacking players. Tonight they all stood up.”
New Zealand play Canada at Jurong West Stadium in Singapore on Friday at 11.30 (NZ time).
The Football Ferns are in Group G of the 12 team Women’s Olympic Football Tournament along with Japan, Norway and USA.
Football Ferns 14 (Amber Hearn (4), Emma Kete (4), Renee Leota (3), Kirsty Yallop (2), Merissa Smith) Singapore 0
Queenstown Stadium, Singapore
Wednesday 23 July
Football Ferns line-ups:
First third: Rachel Howard, Ria Percival, Rebecca Smith, Abby Erceg, Marlies Oostdam, Ali Riley, Katie Hoyle, Hayley Moorwood (Captain), Kirsty Yallop, Amber Hearn, Emma Kete.
Second third: Rachel Howard, Ria Percival, Rebecca Smith, Kristy Hill, Marlies Oostdam, Merissa Smith, Kirsty Yallop, Emily McColl, Anna Green, Amber Hearn, Renee Leota.
Final third: Jenny Bindon, Katie Hoyle, Abby Erceg, Kristy Hill, Anna Green, Merissa Smith, Emily McColl, Hayley Moorwood (Captain), Renee Leota, Emma Kete, Rebecca Tegg.
Head coach: John Herdman
Story courtesy of NZF Media. For full article visit www.nzsoccer.com