Feisty Football Ferns fight back to beat Philippines in California

  • 07/09/2022

The Football Ferns have come from behind to earn a 2-1 win over Philippines in their friendly in California on Wednesday (NZ time).

The Kiwi women found themselves a goal down moments before entering the halftime break, when Philippines striker Sarina Bolden latched on to a searching pass from midfield to put her side in the lead.

But the Ferns responded emphatically in the second stanza, drawing level courtesy of a penalty to Meikayla Moore, before outstanding captain Ali Riley put the finishing touches on a slick attacking movement by newcomer Indiah-Paige Riley to give New Zealand their winning goal.

The result gives the Football Ferns their first consecutive victories since 2018, after their 1-0 win over Mexico on Saturday.

Despite their halftime deficit, Klimkova insisted there was still plenty of belief within the team that they could get themselves back in the contest.

"We said we will win this game," she recalled of the discussion in the sheds. "We will find a way to win this game.

"I'm very happy that we were on our front foot and we were pushing, and we were looking for those opportunities when we can score goals and we scored two during 45 minutes.

"That was our main focus - our mentality to keep believing that this game was our game."

Riley had been promoted up the pitch in search of a winner and duly delivered for coach Jitka Klimkova, scrambling home a rebounded strike from Paige Satchell to give the Ferns the decisive goal.

CJ Bott almost put the result beyond doubt with a long-range strike that was tipped over the crossbar by Philippines goalkeeper Olivia Davies-McDaniel.

The Football Ferns will next head to Japan to play the hosts at Nagano on October 10, as they continue their build-up to next year's World Cup on home soil, which starts in July.

Football Ferns 2 (Meikayla Moore pen 70th min, Ali RIley 83rd min) Philippines 1 (Sarina Bolden 45th min). HT: 0-1.