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Young Football Ferns beat Australia in series opener

New Zealand’s U-17 women have beaten their Australian counterparts 2-1 in the first of three internationals at a rain-soaked North Harbour Stadium football turf on Monday night.

Martine Puketapu celebrates her opening goal. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.photosport.co.nz

October 3, 2011

AUCKLAND – New Zealand’s U-17 women have beaten their Australian counterparts 2-1 in the first of three internationals at a rain-soaked North Harbour Stadium football turf on Monday night.

Fourteen-year-old Martine Puketapu nodded in a 13th minute corner and Jasmine Pereira doubled the lead with a well-taken low shot on the half hour mark after Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Emma Fletcher wriggled free of two defenders and had a blistering shot palmed away by the Australian goalkeeper.

The Young Football Ferns dominated the first half but a revived Australian outfit came out firing after the break and while an initial barrage of long range efforts rarely tested Lily Alfeld in the New Zealand goal, the visitors eventually got on the scoreboard in the 89th minute when Jessica Dillon unlocked the New Zealand defence for Amy Harrison to score.

The match represented the first international for this class of Young Football Ferns, who are building towards qualifying for the next year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan, and coach Paul Temple was pleased with what he saw at this early stage.

“The first half was pleasing in terms of dominating the game. We created lots of chances and played some nice football while the second half was what we probably expected from Australia,” Temple said.

“We knew it was going to be a battle and they would come at us so it was good to see both aspects of the game. The defence put in a real shift in the second half and probably deserved a clean sheet.

“But Australia are a good side and it looked a pretty well taken goal, but what was really pleasing was that the goal didn’t disrupt us. We managed to stay calm for those last few minutes and the girls worked hard for the win.”

A number of players caught Temple’s eye in their first outing.

“I was pleased with Emma Fletcher. She’s only been in the country 48 hours so it’s been tough but she certainly showed enough tonight to warrant having her here.

“In the first half CJ Bott put in a real captain’s performance, driving us through midfield and Hannah Carlsen was good as well but overall everyone put in a lot of effort and I’m happy because I thought there’d be a lot more nerves and jitters in their first international.

The three match series continues on Wednesday night and concludes on Friday. Both matches are at North Harbour Stadium’s football turf kicking off at 6pm.

U-17 Women’s International
North Harbour Stadium Football Turf
Referee: Anna-Maree KEIGHLEY

New Zealand 2 (Martine PUKETAPU 13’, Jasmine PEREIRA 30’)
Australia 1 (Amy HARRISON 89’)
Halftime: 2-0

New Zealand U-17: 1-Lily ALFELD (gk), 2-Meikayla MOORE, 3-Laura MERRIN, 4-CJ BOTT (c), 5-Megan LEE (8-Jessica INNES 46’), 6-Hannah CARLSEN, 7-Jasmine PEREIRA (13-Jolene MUIR 46’), 9-Martine PUKETAPU (18-Emma ROLSTON 79’) 10-Emma FLETCHER (12-Daisy CLEVERLEY 78’), 11-Briar PALMER, 15-Emily JENSEN.
Substitutes not used: 14-Tessa LEONG, 16-Ronisa LIPI (rgk), 17-Lauren DABNER.
Coach: Paul TEMPLE

Cautions: None

Australia U-17: 25-Penelope EDMONDS (gk), 3-Elizabeth RALSTON, 7-Breanna SAMPSON, 9-Amy HARRISON, 10-Jessica DILLON, 11-Grace HENRY, 14-Sarah CARROLL (15-Emma CHECKER 72’), 20-Jessie WILLIAMS (26-Meg MCLAUGHLIN 46’), 24-Natalie TOBIN, 28-Allison CLARKE (5-Melissa CACERES 46’ / 17-Alisha BASS 73’), 30-Lucy METCALF.
Substitutes not used: 1-Shamira KHAMIS (rgk), 2-Olivia PRICE, 12-Hayley SHEHAN, 13-Isabel COOTES, 16-Ebony PHILCOX, 18- Eliza CAMPBELL (rgk), 22-Alexander NATOLI, 23-Grace MACINTYRE.
Coach: Vicki LINTON

Cautions: 7-Breanna SAMPSON 42' 

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