Football Ferns draw with Russia

The Football Ferns battled to a scoreless draw with Russia in their second match of the Algarve Cup in Portugal on Saturday morning (NZ time). Photo / Getty Images.
The Football Ferns battled to a scoreless draw with Russia in their second match of the Algarve Cup in Portugal on Saturday morning (NZ time). Photo / Getty Images.

The Football Ferns were held to a scoreless draw with Russia in their second match of the Algarve Cup in Portugal on Saturday morning (NZ time).

After Thursday morning's tight 1-0 defeat to Brazil, the New Zealand side took a stranglehold on possession but couldn't find the goal they needed to register their first ever win over Russia having lost both of the two previous meetings with the European side.

The best scoring opportunity for the Football Ferns in the first half came via Rosie White who had a goal-bound shot deflected behind for a corner, while in the second half the Liverpool FC striker hit a free kick from just outside the Russia penalty area over the crossbar.

Speaking shortly after the game, Football Ferns coach Tony Readings says his side's performance was worthy of more than the team got at the final whistle.

"When we spoke before the game we said to the players we have to continue where we left off in the second half against Brazil," Readings said.

"We played very well and I've got to give full credit to the players, we really had complete dominance from the first minute all the way to the end.

"Obviously I'm disappointed we don't get the win because when you perform like that you should be getting the three points on the table but overall I'm really happy with the way the team committed to what we were trying to do."

Given what he saw on Saturday, Readings said the team will continue to focus their attention on refining their work in the final third.

"Even though we didn't create as many chances as we should have done with the possession we had, we still created more than enough chances to win the game.

"We did so well to get it to very dangerous positions and it's just that little bit of composure that we need rather than trying to score quickly like we tend to do."

The New Zealand team now look ahead to their meeting with Portugal on Tuesday morning (4am NZ time) and Readings is looking for the team to lift their level in and around the opposition penalty area.

"We've got to find another gear again because we haven't won a game yet and we haven't scored a goal yet and we've been easily good enough to in both of those games.

"There's nothing wrong with the way the team is playing in so many aspects, we just need to be better in the final part of the pitch."

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