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Wilkinson threatens Brazil in the wet

With a touch of luck, Football Ferns striker Hannah Wilkinson would have trudged off Mt Smart Stadium on Monday with boots full of water but a couple of goals against Brazil to lighten the load.

Hannah Wilkinson was a regular threat to the Brazilian defense at a sodden Mt Smart Stadium on Monday. Photo by Photosport.

As it was, the 22-year-old – who hit the cross bar twice - was left frustrated by a performance which ticked a lot of boxes except the final one – the result.

“I think we were the better team overall and I definitely think we could have beaten them,” Wilkinson said.

“We had our chances, which is exciting because it means we’re creating chances, but certainly hitting that crossbar twice was very frustrating.”

Operating primarily on the right flank, the 57-cap striker was consistently getting into crossing positions and dribbling dangerously into the Brazil penalty area, Wilkinson saying her opposition played right into her hands.

“I noticed immediately I wasn’t being marked very tightly. They were pushing forward and leaving me with so much space out on the flank so I was always looking for the ball in behind because there was so much space. It really played to my strengths.”

The late equaliser came in exactly those circumstances as Wilkinson shook free and delivered a terrific cross onto the head of White who made no mistake.

“It was a good ball through from Amber and I just saw Rosie in a perfect spot and she finished it really well. It was awesome. I got so excited when she finished it.”

Looking ahead to Thursday’s second encounter between the teams, Wilkinson says there is still room for improvement in possession for a Football Ferns side which controlled the tempo of the match for large chunks.

“We said at halftime we had more time than we thought we had. I think we could have looked up and played forward a little more maybe but the main thing is finishing our chances, we’re creating them well enough but we need to finish them off.”

Soaked to the skin at the final whistle, Wilkinson, who spends the majority of her year at the University of Tennessee in the southern United States, was playing in conditions almost foreign to her after her time away.

“It’s been a while since I’ve played in something like that. My boots were filled with water by the end of the game but that’s good old New Zealand for you.”

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