It's normally difficult to find many positives after a heavy defeat, but the Football Ferns camp were remaining optimistic following the 5-1 loss to Canada on Sunday.
Though they never stopped trying, New Zealand were thoroughly outclassed by the Olympic champions, who dominated much of the contest.
The Ferns didn't help themselves by conceding a couple of soft first-half goals, but the scoreline was an overall accurate reflection of Canada's dominance.
It was a difficult start to the new era under coach Jitka Klimkova, who had to face the world's sixth-ranked team after a few training sessions.
Klimkova would have been disappointed by the lack of defensive starch as the Ferns were regularly exposed, especially in the second half, and the individual performances of some veterans.
But the Czech native was remaining upbeat, despite overseeing the biggest loss to Canada since a 5-0 reverse in 2007.
"Today was a tough game for us," said Klimkova. "The Canadian team [are] playing with a lot of confidence. But we still have another game to go and we want to build on the good things that we have done.
"I could see a lot of positives and that is what we are going to build on. We want to keep the ball, we want to [have possession] and I could see good moments in the game."
Klimkova admitted the work without the ball was below par, as the team missed the pace and awareness of Abby Erceg and the experience of Rebekah Stott.
"Defensively we need to really fix our shape, we need to fix our individual defending as well, and I believe the game on Wednesday (12:30pm NZT) is going to be even more competitive," said Klimkova.
The fixture was a hospital pass for the new coach, facing a Canadian team at an all time high following their Tokyo triumph, but offered her plenty to ponder.
The Ferns had some bright first-half moments and neat periods of possession, though little end product.
They were under pressure – but hanging in – before Canada's 12th-minute penalty, after an unfortunate Daisy Cleverly handball.
There was another lapse in concentration just before halftime, as goalkeeper Erin Nayler dropped the ball at Christine Sinclair's feet, with the veteran striker finishing with aplomb.
"[Those] goals came from not necessarily being broken down but a little bit of miscommunication on the back post, other than that we were really in it in the first half," said Ferns captain Ali Riley.
Before Sunday, Canada hadn't scored a goal in open play in more than 300 minutes, but the floodgates opened in Ottawa. They found plenty of space between the lines – as the Ferns rarely pressed but neither could maintain a solid low block – and carved New Zealand apart, especially on the flanks.
"We definitely got broken down more in the second half," said Riley. "[But] we played a more exciting style, in the build-up play and I don't think that is something we have had the confidence to do before.
"We need analyse this game carefully – there are so many things we can learn – and we will be disappointed if we don't put in a better performance in the next game. There are a lot of things that we can do better."
Ria Percival scored from the spot in the 70th minute, the first Ferns goal against Canada since 2009, after debutant Eva Collins was clipped in the area.
Percival was a standout, with Meikayla Moore the best of an under-pressure defensive unit, while Collins and fellow rookies Amelia Abbott and Jacqui Hand added notable energy in the second half.
"For us it is the beginning of a new journey," said Klimkova. "It's a great opportunity to compete [against] great opposition. From these kinds of games we can learn the most."
New Zealand 1 (Ria Percival 70' pen)
Canada 5 (Jessie Fleming 12' pen, Christine Sinclair 41', Nichelle Prince 57', Adriana Leon 74', 82')