18 Jun 2012

Football Ferns beat China

1:06 pm on 18 June 2012

The Football Ferns have given their Olympic preparations a boost by beating China 3-1 in Auckland, their first win in 13 attempts against the world number 18 Chinese.

After 12 previous losses stretching back to 1991, New Zealand never trailed at Centre Park, taking a ninth minute lead through Hayley Moorwood.

Sarah Gregorius then doubled the lead in the 28th minute, stabbing home an attacking corner.

China had few chances as New Zealand dominated possession, but the visitors reduced the deficit with 20 minutes remaining thanks to a Zhang Rui header.

The New Zealanders then sealed the win two minutes later with a well-placed shot from Amber Hearn.

Hearn's goal was her 29th in 'A' internationals, equalling a record set by Wendy Sharpe who was recognised before the match with her official commemorative blazer.

The victory stretches the Football Ferns' unbeaten streak to seven matches in 2012.

New Zealand can now clinch a rare series win with another positive result in the second of two tests at North Harbour Stadium on Wednesday night.