8 Apr 2016

Football Ferns go down to the Netherlands

7:17 am on 8 April 2016

The Football Ferns have been beaten 2-0 by the Netherlands in their international friendly near Amsterdam.

Football ferns keeper Erin Nayler.

Football ferns keeper Erin Nayler. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A quick-fire double from right winger Shanice van de Sanden in the first half secured the result for the hosts.

The 13th ranked Netherlands, who missed qualification for the Rio Olympics through the European qualifiers, played like a team with a point to prove against the Brazil-bound Football Ferns in the fine and cool conditions.

The hosts got off to a perfect start when right winger van de Sanden used her pace to break clear down the right flank.

She delivered a clinical finish to beat keeper Erin Nayler for a 1-0 lead after eight minutes.

Nine minutes later, the 23-year-old who plays her football for Liverpool FC with New Zealander Rosie White who began on the bench in this clash, doubled her tally in a carbon copy of the first goal.

The Netherlands midfield - with inspirational playmaker Lieke Martens back in the national side - again got the better of the Football Ferns and van de Sanden made the most of her second chance in space to score twice from as many opportunities in front of goal.

At the other end of the park, Ferns' right winger Katie Bowen found some space for the New Zealanders best chance in the frantic first 30 minutes.

The Kansas City player opted to try and find striker Amber Hearn rather than taking on the keeper and the move broke down.

The World No 16 New Zealanders looked to fight back coming into the final 10 minutes before the break but they could not penetrate the staunch defence of the home side.

After the break, Football Ferns coach Tony Readings tried to ignite his attack when he brought on White for Kirsty Yallop in the 70th minute, and the Liverpool midfielder made an immediate impact, though they still couldn't find the back of the net.

The New Zealand side, who will find out who they are playing when the draw for the Rio Olympics is made on Thursday next week, will regroup following this fixture with four games scheduled ahead of the Olympics in August.