Author Topic: Historic football win for NZ women  (Read 1060 times)

Offline David

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Historic football win for NZ women
« on: June 16, 2008, 10:11:08 PM »
The New Zealand women's football team scored an historic victory over Argentina in Korea last night, downing the South American champions 1-0.

The win kept New Zealand's hopes of making the Peace Queen Cup final alive, after they accepted a late invitation to replace North Korea in the eight-nation tournament.

Former Arsenal striker Amber Hearn got the only goal of the game - her first at international level - in the seventh minute. She headed home from six yards after the Argentinean goalkeeper could only tip Rebecca Smith's 35-metre free kick onto the cross bar.

New Zealand dominated the first half and could have led by more at the break but had to withstand a strong second half fight-back from the South Americans.
The win was especially satisfying for coach John Herdman.

"We turned a corner tonight," he said. "The team has taken a big step. We've got that win under our belt and that's what this tournament was all about - learning how to win games."

New Zealand captain Hayley Moorwood said it was important for her team's confidence going into the Beijing Olympics to get their first win outside the Oceania confederation for 15 years.

"It feels great to get that long-awaited win outside Oceania, but we all knew it was coming, and that one day all the hard work would fall into place," Moorwood said.

"We've got that first taste and now we want to stay on a good run."

Herdman had warned his players to expect a torrid start from the South Americans but it was the Football Ferns that started strongest, earning a string of free kicks from their midfield dominance.

"We came out to dominate in the first half, and didn't let them have any space or time on the ball," Moorwood said.

Both sides had chances in the second half as the game opened up, with Argentina shading possession and shooting stats but apart from a crucial double save on the hour mark, Jenny Bindon always looked comfortable in the New Zealand goal.

In the end New Zealand hung on, enduring a tense finish to clinch the victory.

"It seemed like the longest 45 minutes ever," Moorwood said.

With Canada beating host Korea 3-1 in Monday's early game, New Zealand now sit second in Group A, with their final pool match against the Canadians on Wednesday.

New Zealand: Jenny Bindon, Ria Percival, Abby Erceg, Rebecca Smith (Kristy Hill 46), Anna Green, Ali Riley, Emily McColl (Merissa Smith 33/Betsy Hassett 90), Kirsty Yallop (Katie Hoyle 81), Hayley Moorwood, Renee Leota (Emma Humphries 85), Amber Hearn (Emma Kete 76).