7 Apr 2024

Dominant Football Ferns put four goals past Thailand

12:55 pm on 7 April 2024
Katie Kitching of New Zealand scores a penalty goal during their international friendly win over Thailand.

Katie Kitching scores a penalty goal during the Football Ferns' international friendly win over Thailand. Photo: photosport

The Football Ferns have made a successful homecoming, beating Thailand 4-0 in their first match on home soil since co-hosting last year's FIFA World Cup.

Jitka Klimkova's team had too much panache for the 47th-ranked visitors, who sit 19 places below New Zealand and struggled to create attacking chances.

In contrast, the Football Ferns were a threat throughout the international friendly in Christchurch on Saturday, scoring early through Hannah Wilkinson before the second-half goals came through Jacqui Hand and Katie Kitching (twice).

Klimkova fielded a strong side, with nine of the starting 11 having taken to the field during the World Cup, including Malia Steinmetz, Ali Riley and CJ Bott, who missed the recent victorious campaign at the OFC Olympic qualifying tournament in Samoa.

Despite dominating possession, it wasn't until the final half-hour that the Football Ferns took control.

Substitute Kitching made a strong run down the right flank and crossed to Hand, who controlled the ball before slotting it into the net in the 64th minute.

Eight minutes later, it was 3-0 with Kitching turning from creator to goalscorer, firing in a half volley from the penalty spot.

A late penalty, also converted by Kitching, made it four to secure the Ferns' biggest home win in 12 years.

The same teams meet again in Christchurch on Tuesday night.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.