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.