Soccer: Ferns pipped by Swiss

Hannah Wilkinson's early goal wasn't enough to save the Football Ferns from defeat against Switzerland. Photo / Getty
Hannah Wilkinson's early goal wasn't enough to save the Football Ferns from defeat against Switzerland. Photo / Getty

The Football Ferns are still searching for their first win of 2014 after a second half recovery by Switzerland earned a 2-1 victory at the Cyprus Cup on Saturday.

New Zealand striker Hannah Wilkinson had given her side a dream start with a goal in the fourth minute, but the 22nd-ranked Switzerland team struck twice in two minutes midway through the second half to turn around the game.

The result puts the Swiss side at the top of their group and leaves the 16th-ranked Football Ferns bottom after the Republic of Ireland and South Korea drew 1-1 in the day's earlier game.

New Zealand have now taken four one-goal losses and a draw from their five matches in 2014 so far, dominating those games without earning the result, but coach Tony Readings said the Swiss game unfolded differently.

"We started brightly but, as the half wore, on Switzerland got more and more on top,'' he said. "We found it hard to break their pressure and it was a pretty tough second half which they dominated

"In the last 15-20 minutes of the first half we did create some really good chances and those are the ones we needed to put away. We were playing into a really strong wind in the second half and we needed to take more advantage of the wind in the first half because we had some chances to take.''

Readings acknowledged his side were beaten by a team enjoying a strong run in recent times, similar to his own team's rise in 2013.

"Switzerland are a really good team, the last game they lost was to us last year at the Cyprus Cup. They've beaten teams like Norway and Denmark, real powerhouses of women's football.

"We felt this would probably be our toughest game and it turned out to be that way, and we've got to pick ourselves up now. We've got two days off and head to the South Korea game looking to improve the performance and hopefully get the result we're after.''

The Football Ferns complete their group schedule on Monday morning (NZT) when they meet South Korea, before cross-over playoff matches round out the tournament on Wednesday.

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