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Ferns' patience tested against tenacious Tahiti

The Football Ferns were forced to play a patient game in their final OFC Women’s Nations Cup group match against Tahiti before eventually winning 7-0 at North Harbour Stadium’s Outer Oval.

Ali Riley congratulates Anna Green on her goal. Photosport

October 3, 2010

AUCKLAND – The Football Ferns were forced to play a patient game in their final OFC Women’s Nations Cup group match against Tahiti before eventually winning 7-0 at North Harbour Stadium’s Outer Oval.

Already assured of a place in the final four, the win rubber-stamped New Zealand’s position as group winners and books a Wednesday semi-final against the Group B runner-up who will be confirmed on Monday. Cooks Islands confirmed their place in the semi finals with a 2-0 win over Vanuatu.

The winner of Friday’s final books a place in the finals of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.

Tahiti defended deep and in great number from the outset leaving New Zealand struggling to find the space they had so clinically exploited in double digit wins over Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.

When New Zealand id break through, they found goalkeeper Poroni Turana in exceptional form.

“Most teams will probably play with similar tactics now,” said New Zealand coach John Herdman, “but I’m hoping you go into a semi or a final and the teams will come out and try and win the game and try to qualify for the World Cup.”

It took a bit longer than we’d hoped to try and get the goal tally going and perhaps we’re just not used to a team that doesn’t want to attack so there are a few lessons there.

“In the last 25 minutes the players changed a few things like the centre backs realising they could push forward and join in. If teams try that again we have found a few little ways of exploiting it.”

It took 36 minutes for New Zealand to finally break through a stacked Tahitian defence, and Bridgette Armstrong’s headed effort remained the difference between the two sides at halftime.

Amber Hearn had an easy tap-in for New Zealand’s second 14 minutes after the restart, and sparked a late goal rush with a 25 yard bullet that made it 3-0 in the 75th minute.

Anna Green added a fourth with a cushioned header less than a minute later and Kirsty Yallop volleyed a fifth in from the edge of the area with 10 minutes remaining.

Sarah Gregorius, who had already contributed energy and two assists as a second half substitute showed strength and nimble footwork to add a sixth in 90th minute and an injury time Ria Percival corner sailed in at the far post to complete the scoring.

Pool play wraps up tomorrow with Group B leaders Papua New Guinea playing Tonga and Solomon Islands meeting Fiji.

OFC Women’s Nations Cup
North Harbour Stadium, Outer Oval
Matchday Five

New Zealand 7 (Bridgette Armstrong 36, Amber Hearn 59, 75; Anna Green 76, Kirsty Yallop 80, Sarah Gregorius 90, Ria Percival 90+2)
Tahiti 0
Halftime: 0-1

New Zealand: 20-Aroon CLANSEY (GK), 2-Ria PERCIVAL, 4-Katie HOYLE, 5-Abby ERCEG, 7-Ali RILEY, 8-Hayley MOORWOOD (captain),  9-Amber HEARN, 11-Kirtsy YALLOP, 13-Bridgette ARMSTRONG (6-Rebbeca SMITH 46), 14-Rosie WHITE (3-Anna GREEN 62), 16-Emma KETE (15-Sarah GREGORIUS 55).
Substitutes not used: 1-Jenny BINDON (RGK), 10-Elizabeth MILNE, 12-Maia JACKMAN, 17-Hannah WILKINSON, 18-Kristy HILL.
Coach: John HERDMAN

Cautions: Bridgette ARMSTRONG 11

Tahiti: 1-Poroni TURANA (GK), 2-Mariko IZAL, 3-Maruina TOM SING VEIN, 4-Nicole BOUGES, 5-Angela TAIARUI (captain), 10-Mohea HAUATA (19-Mataireva TAPOTOFARERANI 22), 11-Heimiri ALVAREZ, 14-Tiere APO, 15-Kahana MARUAE (6-Ninauea HIOE 78), 17-Vaiata MAI, 18-Clara MARAHITI.
Substitutes not used: 7-Tihani TOKORAGI, 8-Vaitiare PITO, 9-Linda RUA, 12-Tiare WHITE, 13-Sandrine TEAUNA, 16-Benita MANAIA (RGK), 20-Tania KEUVAHANA
Coach: Ralph APUARII

 

Group A

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

New Zealand

3

3

0

0

31

0

31

9

Cook Islands

3

2

0

1

2

10

-8

6

Tahiti

3

1

0

2

5

9

-4

3

Vanuatu

3

0

0

3

1

20

-19

0

 

 

Group B

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

PNG

2

2

0

0

5

0

5

6

Solomon Islands

2

1

0

1

4

2

2

3

Tonga

2

1

0

1

2

5

-3

3

Fiji

2

0

0

2

1

5

-4

0

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