The Football Ferns have come from behind to record a confidence-boosting 2-1 win against the Philippines in an international friendly played behind closed doors in California.
The win gives New Zealand their first back-to-back wins in almost four years, following last weekend’s 1-0 win against Mexico.
However New Zealand had to win the hard way, after trailing 1-0 at half-time and surviving a late effort when their opponents hit the post in stoppage time.
The Philippines had taken the lead just before the break when New Zealand lost possession in midfield and a long ball was seized by Sarina Bolden who struck it with the outside of her boot from the edge of the area.
Ferns goalkeeper Erin Nayler parried the ball but it still went inside the post.
In the second half, New Zealand gradually started to assert themselves against a busy Philippines who fell deeper, trying to preserve their lead.
A corner in the 70th minute led to Fern defender Meikayla Moore being brought down in the box, and a penalty was awarded.
Moore took the penalty herself, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way.
The goal eased New Zealand tensions and the side pushed forward in search of a winner.
Captain Ali Riley foraged down the left, causing problems for the Philippines defenders, and she was rewarded in the 83rd minute when she turned the ball into the net for her second goal in 147 appearances for her country.
In added time, the Philippines won a free kick that was floated into the box, and Jessika Cowart headed it against the post.
The New Zealanders ran down the clock and were able to celebrate their two-win international break.
Their next game is against Japan on October 9.
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Game played on Wednesday September 7, 2022 (NZT)
New Zealand 2 (Meikayla Moore 70′ pen, Ali Riley 83′)
Philippines 1 (Sarina Bolden 45′)