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Football Ferns suffer second loss

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/03/2017

The Football Ferns have fallen to their second loss at the Cyprus Cup, outplayed 3-0 by world No.24 Austria in Nicosia.

The 19th-ranked New Zealanders also lost their opening match of the 12-team tournament, edged 3-2 by world No.21 Scotland on Thursday.

Austria, who have lost only two games in the last two years, took a 1-0 lead into halftime and controlled the second spell to comfortably shut out the win.

New Zealand coach Tony Readings opted to start Anna Green ahead of skipper Abby Erceg, who recently announced her retirement, with Ali Riley taking over the captain's duties.

"We didn't play well for large patches of the game - it was quite scrappy," he said afterwards.

"We let goals in today from a couple of set plays, where we knew Austria were very strong.

"I was pretty disappointed in the way we conceded goals, and we didn't create many chances."

New Zealand's final pool match is against 18th-ranked South Korea early on Tuesday (NZT).

The tournament is the Football Ferns' first outing in six months after they were knocked out of the Rio Olympics in the group stage.

New Zealand's best finish in six previous appearances invitation tournament was runners-up, in 2010.

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