Football Ferns back to winning ways

9:46 am on 11 July 2023
CJ Bott of Football Ferns during the international friendly match at McLean Park, Napier.

Defender CJ Bott opened the scoring for New Zealand against Vietnam in Napier. Photo: Lynne Cameron/

The Football Ferns have ended their 10-game winless streak 10 days ahead of the Women's Football World Cup kicking off on home soil.

In New Zealand's final public warm-up game before the World Cup, the Football Ferns beat Vietnam 2-0 in Napier.

Vietnam are in New Zealand for their first World Cup appearance and are 32nd in the world rankings. The Football Ferns are ranked 26th in the world.

The Football Ferns dominated possession in the first half, with defender CJ Bott scoring the opening goal of the game in the 18th minute off a New Zealand corner kick.

Forward Jacqui Hand doubled the home side's lead on the stroke of half-time with an easy tap-in to goal.

Jacqui Hand of Football Ferns celebrates scoring  with Indiah-Paige Riley of Football Ferns during the international friendly match at McLean Park, Napier , New Zealand on Monday10 July 2023. Mandatory credit: Lynne Cameron /

Jacqui Hand celebrates scoring her goal. Photo: Lynne Cameron/

After the final whistle, co-captain Ria Percival told Sky Sport she was pleased to be back playing for New Zealand.

She was equally pleased the Football Ferns had scored goals as well as kept a clean sheet.

"We obviously had a few out injured [before this game], we haven't played together in quite a while but I think tonight we put on a good performance."

Prior to kick off, New Zealand co-captain Ali Riley said the game against Vietnam could mimic the Football Ferns' approach against their second World Cup opponent, the Philippines.

"This [Vietnam game] is really important, I think it could be tactically similar to the Philippines, it's something to get momentum, it's something to get those last pieces, that cohesion together, and I think a way to show our connection to the crowd."

Riley hoped that fans who had attended the Vietnam game would also show up to the Football Ferns games in Auckland against Norway, in Wellington against the Philippines, and in Dunedin against Switzerland, during the global tournament which starts on 20 July.

Vietnam will play USA, Portugal and Netherlands at the World Cup.

New Zealand and Australia are co-hosting the ninth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup which will be contested by 32 teams across 64 games.