There was no fairytale finish for the Football Ferns in Cincinnati, the Kiwis thumped 5-0 by the world No.1 United States team in a ruthlessly clinical display.

The 19th-ranked New Zealanders were hopeful of improvement after losing 3-1 four days ago in Denver, Colorado, in the first game of their two-match tour.

But after managing to keep the US scoreless for the opening half-hour, the Kiwis conceded two goals in the 10 minutes before half-time, then three more in the second spell for a dispiriting defeat.

Ferns keeper Erin Nayler, playing in her 50th match for New Zealand, was kept busy right from the first whistle, with the Kiwi defence constantly stretched wide down the flanks.


The US dominated the midfield, forcing numerous errors with a high-pressing defence which harried the New Zealanders whenever they managed a skerrick of possession.

Limited to only the occasional foray on goal, the Kiwis still managed to keep the US scoreless until the 36th minute.

A searching through ball from Sam Mewis found sub midfielder Lindsey Horan, who caught Nayler off her line with a well-directed looping header.

Nineteen-year-old striker Mallory Pugh doubled the lead two minutes out from half-time, finishing off some slick passing with a cool finish on Nayler's near post.

Alex Morgan took barely 30 seconds from the restart to extend the US lead, then Lynn Williams' pace and quick thinking saw her head home their fourth in the 55th minute. Morgan slammed in her second from close range in the 69th minute, the Kiwis then hanging on desperately to keep the US scoreless for the final 20 minutes.