Football Ferns lose 2-0 to Australia
Thu, 28 Jun 2012 5:09a.m.
New Zealand paid for their failure to convert their chances as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Australia in a women's soccer friendly in Wollongong.
Striker Sarah Walsh scored a goal in each half on Wednesday as the Matildas extended their unbeaten run against the Football Ferns to 24 matches.
The sequence includes 23 wins, with the only blemish being the 1-1 draw in the first match of a two-match series on Sunday.
For New Zealand, Anna Green and Amber Hearn both hit the woodwork in the opening spell.
Sarah Gregorius missed the follow-up from Green's shot and Hearn later also couldn't finish from close range.
Hayley Moorwood, who scored against the Matildas in game one, had a header cleared off the line in the second half, while the Ferns also had a strong penalty claim for handball waved away.
Coach Tony Readings says the Australians' ruthlessness in front of goal is a lesson for his players.
"They didn't have nearly as much of the ball as us or create as many chances," he said.
"But when the chances came, they took them, and we'll need that trait against the teams we face at an Olympic Games."
With the Olympics squad due to be named on Friday, Readings made five changes to his starting 11 as part of his aim of looking at a range of players.
The four most capped players at his disposal - Moorwood, Abby Erceg, Ria Percival and Jenny Bindon - began on the bench.
"We didn't get the result today but we've been focused on performances at this stage of the build-up and the performance today was just as good as Sunday," Readings said.
"We'll learn a lot from it and, if losing a game today helps us win in July and August, we'll take this one on the chin."
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