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Football Ferns lose to Korea at Cyprus Cup

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/03/2017

An inexperienced Football Ferns outfit have fallen to their third successive loss at the Cyprus Cup, beaten 2-0 by South Korea in Larnaca.

However, coach Tony Readings says his team produced one of their best showings of the tournament on Tuesday after earlier losses to Scotland (3-2) and Austria (3-0).

"It was probably our best performance of the tournament, they're good at keeping the ball but we defended really well," he said.

"We had a lot of opportunities to hurt them that we weren't able to take."

The Kiwis are now looking to finish on a high note when they meet Hungary on Thursday in the play-off for ninth in the 12-team tournament.

The Ferns have missed injured captain Abby Erceg and midfield lynchpin Katie Duncan, who was unavailable for the tour.

In their absence, and with some bright prospects coming through, Readings has taken the opportunity to blood several new players.

"The younger players have all done really well and there have been some really encouraging signs," he said.

After the recent internationals retirements of Erceg, Sarah Gregorius and Rebecca Rolls, Readings is currently looking to refresh the Ferns squad with an eye on the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games.

"A lot of the other teams at this tournament are peaking because they have really important events coming up shortly," Readings said.

"We're at the stage where we're trying to build and are looking at players. So the results of the games have been disappointing but, at the same time, it's been really encouraging for the future."

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