Football World Cup: Football Ferns end winless run in final hitout against Vietnam before tournament opener

The Football Ferns have ended their winless run of 10 games with a much-needed 2-0 win over Vietnam in their final official hitout before their Women's World Cup opener.

New Zealand's last victory came against the Philippines last September, but their win over Vietnam proved a much more polished performance.

The result also eases their goalscoring concerns, with only one solitary effort in their previous seven matches.

The Football Ferns dominated the contest from the outset at McLean Park, with Vietnam unable to cope with the waves of black attacks.

Hannah Wilkinson and Hand.
Hannah Wilkinson and Hand. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand are six places above their 32nd-placed opponents in the world rankings and showed exactly why in the opening minutes.

Despite missing several golden opportunities early on, the Ferns were finally rewarded through CJ Bott's boot in the 16th minute.

Bott's long-ranged effort looked a tame one, but neither the defender nor goalkeeper could clear, as they watched it dribble into the bottom left corner.

New Zealand looked likely to kick on, but struggled to turn possession into goals, until a breakaway right before halftime provided some relief.

Indiah-Paige Riley capped off an encouraging first half with a stunning run and cross from the right-hand edge, serving the ball on a plate for Jacqui Hand to tap into an empty net.

The second half saw much of the same from the first 45 minutes, with the Football Ferns dominating possession, but without the finishing touch.

As their last official match before their World Cup opener, coach Jitka Klimková used it as another opportunity to test new combinations, even making a quadruple change.

Despite failing to find the back of the net in the second half, Klimková and her team will undoubtedly take confidence from the much-needed win.

New Zealand kick off their World Cup campaign against Norway at Eden Park on July 20.

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