Football Ferns open Cyprus Cup with win

The New Zealand women's football side opened their Cyprus Cup campaign with a 1-0 defeat of Scotland 1-0 in Nicosia overnight (NZT). Photo / Getty Images.
The New Zealand women's football side opened their Cyprus Cup campaign with a 1-0 defeat of Scotland 1-0 in Nicosia overnight (NZT). Photo / Getty Images.

The New Zealand women's football side opened their Cyprus Cup campaign with a 1-0 defeat of Scotland 1-0 in Nicosia overnight (NZT).

A 26th minute Betsy Hassett goal was the difference between the two sides, after good lead-up work from Ali Riley saw Sarah Gregorius' first-up effort saved by the Scottish goalkeeper.

Football Ferns coach Tony Readings was happy with the team's performance against the a side ranked two places below his in 23rd.

"We controlled possession for large portions of the game, created a few clear-cut opportunities and were worthy of the win," Readings said.

Waikato striker Helen Collins was given her international debut, former international cricketer Rebecca Rolls earned a start in goal in place of the injured Jenny Bindon and Hayley Bowden captained the side in Rebecca Smith's absence.

Readings and his side will have a rest day before facing Italy, who took on England in the other Group A match today.

"Italy will pose a different threat and will be a lot more physical, but our focus will be on what we do," Readings said.

The two sides last met in 2010 in the same tournament with the Football Ferns winning 1-0 courtesy of an Amber Hearn goal. Italy are currently ranked 11th in the world.

New Zealand 1 (Betsy Hassett 26) Scotland 0. HT: 1-0.

- APNZ

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