Football Ferns coach Jitka Klimková concedes her side deserved to lose their international friendly to Portugal.
“I have to be really honest to our fans, our plan was different: we wanted to have a win, and we lost five zero,” the New Zealand coach said after her side’s 5-0 drubbing in Hamilton.
“And we know that we should be doing a better job, we should be possessing better, we should be defending better.
“So today it was not good enough, and we deserved to lose today.”
Klimková opted for an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation, pushing captain Ali Riley and CJ Bott licence to maraud on the wings.
But the plan backfired and Portugal outgunned the Ferns in possession, shots and, ultimately, goals.
Midfielder Olivia Chance, playing in her hometown for the Ferns for the first time, said:
“Individually, we weren’t good enough, and we know that.
“We all know that as players, we wanted to put on a performance.
“We care so much about this World Cup in five months, and today wasn’t good enough.
“Obviously, I’m not happy. I’m at home, and I want to play well. It’s hard to come back to Hamilton and not put on a good performance, but it’s about how we react now,
“You can see these as a bit of a wake-up call.
“I agree with Jitka. It was the basics that we didn’t do well today.
“First touch, get your head up, know what you’re doing next, tracking our players, getting tight … so there’s so many things that we can fix.
“A lot of those girls are disappointed in there. We let ourselves down. So I think, you know, now it’s about what we can do against Argentina and, pick our heads back up and, and go on the next one.”