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Yallop: We’ve come so far

Football Ferns midfielder Kirsty Yallop has seen a lot of firsts in her 10-year midfield tenure at international level and her performance against Japan in Osaka on Friday came close helping New Zealand earn their maiden victory over the Nadeshiko.
Yallop rifled in an outstanding second half equaliser against the world number three side as the Football Ferns pushed hard for victory, only to have their hearts broken with a late winner for the home team.
Speaking shortly after Friday’s match, the 27-year-old reflected on a strong second half performance which indicated how much the team has progressed in recent years.
“I think we dominated the second half and we really were pushing to get that win and at least a tie,” Yallop said.
“We’re a bit disappointed but it’s good to see we’ve improved a lot since the last time we’ve played them and that we played our game in the second half.”
Playing in her 79th international match last night, Yallop – who plays her club football for Swedish side Vittsjo GIK – is ideally placed to chart the line of development the Football Ferns have taken since her debut in 2004.
“You can’t even put into words how much we’ve improved as a team since I’ve been a part of it.”
“It’s been a good 10 years that I’ve been on the team for now. When we first started out on the world stage we were getting beat by however many goals and we just weren’t able to compete at the same level as those teams.
“It’s been a lot of hard work and effort by the girls which has brought us this far.”
In describing her sensational leveller – her 12th goal at senior level – Yallop preferred to focus on the team’s preparation rather than dwell on any personal glory, despite it being the second time the midfielder has scored against the same opponent.
“It was awesome to score,” Yallop said, “we’ve been practising to hit the ball low and hard and in the corners whenever we can so it was good to do it today against one of the best teams in the world.
“It’s been a while since I scored for the team so it’s good to get back on track with that. I scored against them at the Olympics as well.
“It’s good to see that we’re getting forward enough and getting goal scoring opportunities for our midfielders as well, not just our forwards.”
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz

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