The Football Ferns’ goalscoring woes continued as they lost 3-0 to Nigeria in their international friendly played in Turkey.
Despite having more possession than their opponents, New Zealand struggled to create goalscoring chances and the defeat extended the team’s winless streak to 10 matches.
New Zealand had the better of the play for the first third of the game but once Nigeria took the lead, momentum turned and always seemed the side most likely to take the game played at the Mardan Sports Complex, Antalya.
Nigeria took the lead in the 34th minute when Toni Payne clipped a corner into the Ferns’ penalty area and captain Onome Ebi was unmarked, rising to head a looping header over goalkeeper Vic Esson.
The Super Falcons doubled their lead five minutes into the second half when Michelle Alozie slipped past marker Michaela Foster and crossed for Jennifer Echegini to turn the ball into the net for her first full international goal.
The third Nigerian goal came four minutes into added time.
A poor clearance from Nigerian ‘keeper Chiamaka Cynthia Nnadozi was not cut off and the ball ran clear for Busayo Ajibade. While New Zealand appealed for offside, Ajibade’s shot was blocked by Esson.
The ball fell for Gift Monday whose shot was deflected by Bowen; then, veteran striker Desire Operanozie claimed possession, turned Claudia Bunge and shot inside the far post.
The match was New Zealand’s last friendly away from home the Ferns will play in preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
At Easter weekend, the side drew 1-1 with Iceland at the same Turkish stadium.
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(New Zealand / Nigeria)
Shots: 6 / 12
Shots on target: 3 / 7
Possession: 53% / 47%
Passes: 361 / 339
Pass accuracy: 74% / 72%
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offsides: 3 / 2
Corners: 6 / 2
Game played on Wednesday April 12, 2023
New Zealand 0
Nigeria 3 (Onome Ebi 34′, Jennifer Echegini 49′, Desire Operanozie 90+4′)
Victoria Esson, Ali Riley, Rebekah Stott (Claudia Bunge 84′), Katie Bowen, Michaela Foster (Mackenzie Barry 85′), Malia Steinmetz, Grace Jale, Gabi Rennie (Paige Satchell 46′), Betsy Hassett (Daisy Cleverley 72′), Hannah Wilkinson (Milly Clegg 84′), Jacqui Hand.
Subs not used: Meikayla Moore, Anna Leat. Grace Neville, Liz Anton, Indiah-Paige Riley, Kate Taylor.
Chiamaka Cynthia Nnadozi, Onyinyechi Jennifer Echegini, Onome Ebi, Toni Payne Oyedupe (Ngozi Okobi 80′), Assiat Lamina Oshoala (Gift Monday 75′), Blessing Oluwatosin Demehim, Busayo Ajibade, Halimatu Ibrahim Ayinde, Rofiat Adenike Imuran, Michelle Alozie (Glory Ogbonna 88′), Ijeoma Esther Okoronkwo (Ugochi Desire Oparanozie 46′).
Subs not used: Deborah Ajibola Abiodun, Inyene Sunday Etim, Ahleigh Megan Plumptre, Uchenna Grace Kanu, Christy Onyenaturuchi Uchiebe, Regina Ibiang Out, Vivian Obianujuwan Ikechukwu.
Referee: Arda Kedesler.
Assistant referees: Mehmet Emin Tugral, Cevdet Kömürcüoglu.
Fourth official: Burak Seker