Football Ferns suffer defeat against Switzerland
The Football Ferns are still searching for their first win of 2014 after a second half recovery by Switzerland earned a 2-1 victory over the New Zealand side at the Cyprus Cup on Saturday.
University of Tennessee striker Hannah Wilkinson had given the Football Ferns, ranked 16th in the world, a dream start with a goal in the fourth minute but the 22nd ranked Switzerland team struck twice in two minutes mid-way through the second half to turn the game around.
The result puts the Swiss side at the top of Group C of the competition while the Football Ferns sit bottom of the pool after the Republic of Ireland and South Korea drew 1-1 in the day's earlier game.
The New Zealand side have now taken four one-goal losses and a draw from their five matches in 2014 so far, dominating those games without earning the result but Football Ferns coach Tony Readings says Saturday's game unfolded differently.
"We started brightly but as the half wore on Switzerland got more and more on top and we found it hard to break their pressure and it was a pretty tough second half which they dominated," Readings said.
"In the last 15-20 minutes of the first half we did create some really good chances and those are the ones we needed to put away. We were playing into a really strong wind in the second half and we needed to take more advantage of the wind in the first half because we had some chances to take."
Readings acknowledged his side were beaten by a team enjoying a strong run in recent times, similar to his own team's rise in 2013.
"Switzerland are a really good team, the last game they lost was to us last year at the Cyprus Cup.
"They've beaten teams like Norway and Denmark, real powerhouses of women's football.
"We felt this would probably be our toughest game and it turned out to be that way and we've got to pick ourselves up now. We've got two days off and head to the South Korea game looking to improve the performance and hopefully get the result we're after."
The Football Ferns complete their Group C schedule on Monday when they meet South Korea at 4.30am (NZ time) before cross over playoff matches complete the tournament on Wednesday.