Football: NZ women fall to Canada in final match of the season

Janine Beckie of Canada scored twice against the Football Ferns.
Janine Beckie of Canada scored twice against the Football Ferns. Photo credit: Getty

The Football Ferns have ended a disappointing year with a 3-0 defeat to Canada in Yongchuan, China.

It was the second time the two nations have played this year, having met during the group stages at the Women's World Cup in June, which Canada won 2-0.

New Zealand were unable to exact any revenge, with Canada running out deserved winners after Christine Sinclair's first-half header was followed by a quick-fire Janine Beckie double midway through the second half.

Sinclair's goal took her career tally to 183 - just one away from the all-time international goals record set by United States legend Abby Wambach.

The loss was the Football Ferns' sixth straight and leaves coach Tom Sermanni with plenty to ponder ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

"Our performance was actually better than it was in the World Cup against Canada," he said.

"I thought we were more competitive tonight and the players put in a really good effort to keep in the game as long as we could. Ultimately, we were just beaten by a team that had better quality and were better than us physically."

Three days earlier, New Zealand lost 2-0 to China.

Reflecting on the two matches in China, Sermanni was pleased to have run the rule over certain players with his Olympic selections in mind.

"That's what we wanted to do on this tour - we wanted to see what players could do at this level. We're fairly limited in the amount of times we can do that, so it's not easy for players to suddenly get thrown in there and try to make an impression. But it's been invaluable to us, and I'm sure it has been for those players as well," he said.

"We've got a really open mind about who we pick for the Olympics, and it's about players stepping up and performing to make sure they're picked."