Women’s World Cup co-host New Zealand fine-tuned its preparations for the tournament with a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Vietnam in a friendly at McLean Park in Napier on Monday, earning its first victory on home soil since June 2012.
First-half goals from defender CJ Bott and forward Jacqui Hand also helped New Zealand snap a 10-match winless run. Its last victory was a 2-1 win over the Philippines in a friendly in the United States in September 2022.
Jitka Klimkova’s side dominated from the start and took the lead in the 17th minute when Bott’s low shot from outside the box took a slight deflection into the net before an unmarked Hand rounded off a wonderful team move just before the break.
The return of Annalie Longo was also a major boost for the home side as the veteran midfielder played the last 20 minutes of the contest, making her first appearance for the team since September after recovering from a serious knee injury.
New Zealand, co-hosting the World Cup with Australia, will begin its campaign against Norway in Group A on July 20 as the country seeks its first win in six appearances at the tournament.
Debutants Vietnam will face defending champion US in Group E on July 22.
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