New Zealand beat Vietnam 2-0 in final warmup before World Cup

New Zealand beat Vietnam 2-0 in final warmup before World Cup

New Zealand, co-hosts of the Women’s World Cup, secured a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Vietnam in a friendly match at McLean Park in Napier on Monday. This win marked their first triumph on home soil since June 2012. The team’s 10-match winless streak was broken with first-half goals from CJ Bott and Jacqui Hand. Their previous victory was a 2-1 win over the Philippines in a friendly in the United States in September 2022.

Coach Jitka Klimkova expressed the significance of this win and the team’s performance, stating, “This was really important for us, this win and this performance,” in an interview with Sky Sport NZ.

Right from the start, New Zealand dominated the game and took the lead in the 17th minute when Bott’s shot from outside the box deflected slightly into the net. Just before halftime, an unmarked Hand completed a fantastic team move to extend the lead.

The return of veteran midfielder Annalie Longo was a major boost for the home side. Longo made her first appearance for the team since September after recovering from a serious knee injury, playing the last 20 minutes of the contest.

New Zealand, co-hosting the World Cup with Australia, will kick off their campaign against former champions Norway in Group A on July 20. They are aiming for their first victory in six appearances at the tournament.

Debutants Vietnam, on the other hand, will face defending champions U.S. in Group E on July 22.

Klimkova acknowledged the tough challenge that Norway poses but assured that the team will give their all and work hard to make the nation proud. She added, “We know Norway is tough opposition … but we can promise that we will leave everything on the field and we will work hard for this country.”

Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles.

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