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Football Ferns edge closer to Cyprus Cup final

After Amber Hearn earned and converted a 18th minute penalty, New Zealand looked on course to upset the Dutch for the second time in 12 months but Manon Melis levelled the scores from a corner midway through the half and although Rosie White and Ali Riley rattled the woodwork the Ferns couldn’t get their noses in front of the European Championship semi-finalists again.
The match was played in atrocious weather conditions – a Group B fixture between Canada and England scheduled to follow New Zealand’s match was put back a day due to a waterlogged pitch – and New Zealand coach John Herdman was pleased with how his side backed up from an historic win over Italy just two days ago.
“I think we dominated them physically,” Herdman said.
“The first half was a real battle but into the wind in the second half we took the game to them and were able to get the ball down and play.”
The point leaves New Zealand and the Netherlands locked on four points, one ahead of Italy who beat Scotland 2-0 in Group A’s other fixture. The Netherlands have a two goal edge over New Zealand in goal difference heading into the final group matches on Tuesday morning (NZT).
With the top side in each of the tournament’s two groups meeting in the final, New Zealand must beat Scotland to have any chance of qualifying.
They may also need to boost their goal differential although the Dutch face a stern test from Italy, the top ranked nation in the group.
“The Italy-Netherlands match could go either way but we’ve just got to do what we need to; win and look to get a few goals,” Herdman said.
“We’re in a great position but we’ve got a tough game against a Scotland side who were far from outclassed by Italy today.
“We’ll put out our most attacking line-up to give ourselves the best chance of progressing through to the final”
In the only Group B match played Switzerland defeated South Africa 3-1 to temporarily top the group.
For full schedule and results visit www.cypruswomenscup.com
2010 Cyprus Women’s Cup
Ammochostos Stadium
Larnaca, Cyprus
New Zealand: 1
Netherlands: 1
Halftime: 1-1
New Zealand: 1-Jenny BINDON (GK), 3-Anna GREEN, 4-Katie HOYLE, 5-Abby ERCEG, 6-Rebecca SMITH, 7-Ali RILEY, 8-Hayley MOORWOOD (Captain), 9-Amber HEARN (17-Hannah WILKINSON88), 11-Kirsty YALLOP, 14-Rosie WHITE, 15-Hannah WALL.
Substitutes not used: 2-Liz MILNE, 10-Annalie LONGO, 12-Betsy HASSETT, 16-Emma KETE, 18-Kristy HILL, 20-Aroon CLANSEY (RGK).
Coach: John Herdman
Cautions: Katie HOYLE
Story courtesy NZF Media

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