A first-half goal from AS Roma’s Valentina Giacinti was enough for Italy to beat New Zealand behind closed doors at Auckland’s Keith Hay Park on Saturday evening.
Playing under lights, the match was set up for both teams to have a full workout with only six days to go to the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Football Ferns coach Jitka Klimková made only two changes to her starting line-up from Monday’s 2-0 win against Vietnam in Napier.
Claudia Bunge and Michaela Foster went into the backline, replacing CJ Bott and Rebekah Stott, both of whom were rested.
Goalkeeper Anna Leat got half a game, replacing Vic Esson for the second half, while winger Paige Satchell was the only other New Zealand player not used against Vietnam who managed some game time.
The captain for the game was Ali Riley.
The game was played at Auckland United’s Keith Hay Park which is being used as the team training base for New Zealand.
Italy are rated 16th in the current FIFA rankings, while New Zealand are ranked 26th.
Main photo: The New Zealand starting line-up for the game against Italy. Back row (from left): Claudia Bunge, Katie Bowen, Vic Esson, Malia Steinmetz, Michaela Foster, Hannah Wilkinson. Front (from left): Betsy Hassett, Ria Percival, Ali Riley, Indiah Paige-Riley, Jacqui Hand. Photo credit: NZ Football.
Game played on Friday July 14, 2023
Venue: Key Hay Park, Mt Roskill, Auckland
Attendance: Ground closed to spectators
New Zealand 0
Italy 1 (Valentina Giacinti, 23′)
Victoria Esson (Anna Leat 46’), Katie Bowen. Claudia Bunge, Michaela Foster, Jacqui Hand (Paige Satchell 77′), Betsy Hassett (Gabi Rennie 77′), Ria Percival, Ali Riley, Indiah-Paige Riley (Olivia Chance 46′), Malia Steinmetz (Annalie Longo 75′), Hannah Wilkinson (Milly Clegg 75′).