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Football Ferns beat Hungary in Cyprus

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/03/2017

The Football Ferns have ended a disappointing campaign at the Cyprus Cup tournament on a high note, beating Hungary 3-1 in Paralimni.

New Zealand finish ranked ninth at the 12-team tournament, having lost all of their pool games, against Scotland (3-2), Austria (3-0) and South Korea (2-0).

Striker Rosie White scored a double while Jasmine Pereira netted her first goal in 25 internationals, prompting a smile at last from coach Tony Readings.

"We were the far better team throughout but this was also a reminder for us that we should be winning these games more comfortably and putting teams like Hungary to bed a lot earlier than what we did," he said.

White, who is set to join her new club the Boston Breakers, scored three goals at the tournament, the most by any player from the 12 teams.

Readings singled out White, Katie Bowen and CJ Bott as stand-out performers in Cyprus.

The tournament was the swansong for long-serving captain Abby Erceg, 27, who is retiring over what she says is a lack of support shown to the team by New Zealand Football.

Readings says the tournament marked a pivotal point for his team, which explained their inconsistency.

"We are going to have that when we have new, younger players coming in and they are learning the ropes of how to win games at this level.

"We have had the opportunity to look at a lot more players and different formations which is something we haven't been able to do."

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