Soccer: Football Ferns handed sound defeat

The Football Ferns fell to their heaviest defeat in three years on Tuesday, beaten 4-0 by South Korea in Paralimni at the Cyprus Cup tournament.

The New Zealand side, ranked 16th in the world, went behind in the 10th minute and faced a 2-0 halftime deficit after their 17th ranked opponents struck seven minutes before halftime.

The second half produced two more goals for the South Korean side as they scored eight minutes after the restart before adding a fourth in the 72nd minute.

Tuesday's defeat is the biggest suffered by Tony Readings' team since the Football Ferns were beaten 5-0 by Mexico at the 2011 Cyprus Cup event.

Readings says the windy conditions played a role in the outcome but his side conceded goals to quick counter attacks from their opponents.

"In the first half while we played with the wind and whilst we kept the ball for the majority of the half, we got caught on the counter on two occasions.," Readings said. "They had two chances in the first half and, to be fair to them, they've put them away.

"We've come in at halftime without playing too badly but without playing up to our best level.

"In the second half we played into a really strong wind. We didn't start as well as we could have then we've got on top and been caught again on the counter.

"It's difficult to accept losing 4-0 but what we've succumbed to is a little bit of indecision at the back and that stems back to a lack of cohesion from having new players in there.

"What we're really proud of is the way the players kept fighting right to the very end, pressing forward and trying to get a bit more respectability back into the game and that bodes really well.

"We know we've got got ability and quality in the team and if we can combine that with the attitude and commitment the players showed today we'll come back even stronger."

Readings handed CJ Bott and Evie Millynn their first senior international caps with both players appearing as second half substitutes.

The Football Ferns finish up the Cyprus Cup tournament with Thursday morning's crossover playoff match.

New Zealand 0
South Korea 4 (10', 38', 53', 72')
Halftime: 0-2

- NZ Herald

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