March 4, 2010
AUCKLAND – Football Ferns coach John Herdman has described the 2010 Cyprus Women’s Cup as a massive step forward for his team despite losing 0-1 to Canada in the final on Thursday morning.
The Ferns took the 12th ranked Canadians scoreless into halftime but with 20 minutes remaining Christine Sinclair set up midfielder Diana Matheson to rifle the game’s only goal from outside the penalty area.
The Ferns defeated Italy (1-0) and Scotland (3-0) and drew with Netherlands (1-1) to go through group play unbeaten but the final against Canada, who were playing in its third consecutive Cyprus Cup final, proved a bridge too far.
“Canada had a clear edge in experience and you could see that in the way they caught us on the counter in the second half,” Herdman said.
“We played really well for the first 60 minutes and got in behind the Canadians four or five times in the first half but unfortunately that last bit of quality was lacking.”
The second place finish represents an improvement from last year’s top four effort where the Ferns upset the Netherlands and drew with Canada before losing to France on penalties in a playoff for third.
“This tournament has been a wonderful experience and a massive step forward in consistency and composure.
“We’ve grown throughout the tournament and been able to turn some of those draws from last year into wins, and turn fourth place into second.”
The Cyprus Cup is seen as ideal preparation for New Zealand’s FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign, which begins with Oceania qualifying in Auckland in September, but Herdman sees benefits beyond the road to Germany 2011.
“We used seven players tonight aged 21 or under and perhaps only two who are at an age where they would be at their peak.
“Teams playing or watching us have told us they can’t believe how young some of our players are.”
“They’re already playing an unbelievable brand of football so with four or five more years under their belt who knows what they can achieve. By the 2012 Olympics or the 2015 World Cup these girls will be that much closer to their best years.
Football Ferns striker Amber Hearn finished joint top of the golden boots standings with four goals from as many games.
In the playoffs to decide final placings, Netherlands put four goals past Switzerland to claim third, England edged Italy 3-2 to finish fifth, and Scotland beat South Africa 2-1 to avoid the wooden spoon.
2010 Cyprus Women’s Cup
New Zealand 0 Canada 1 (Diana Matheson 71)
New Zealand: 1-Jenny BINDON (GK), 3-Anna GREEN (10-Annalie LONGO 75), 4-Katie HOYLE (18-Kristy HILL 82), 5-Abby ERCEG, 6-Rebecca SMITH, 7-Ali RILEY, 8-Hayley MOORWOOD (Captain / 16-Emma KETE 82), 9-Amber HEARN, 11-Kirsty YALLOP, 14-Rosie WHITE (17-Hannah WILKINSON 75), 15-Hannah WALL.
Substitutes not used: 2-Liz MILNE, 12-Betsy HASSETT, 20-Aroon CLANSEY (RGK).
Coach: John Herdman
Match day three results
New Zealand 0 Canada 1
3rd/4th - Netherlands 4 Switzerland 0
5th/6th - Italy 2 England 3
7th/8th - Scotland 2 South Africa 1
2. New Zealand
8. South Africa
Amber Hearn (New Zealand) & Manon Melis (Netherlands)