Ferns’ Ria Percival scores vital goal as her Crystal Palace club chase title

New Zealand international Ria Percival has scored an important goal to keep her Crystal Palace side in the race for promotion to England’s top tier of women’s football.

Percival (34) scored the second goal in Palace’s 3-0 win against Watford before a club record crowd of 5,566 at Selhurst Park.

Main photo: Crystal Palace’s Ria Percival … ‘I’ve just tried to get my smile back.’

Watch Ria Percival’s goal

With four games left in the English Women’s Championship, and with a game in hand, Palace have moved into second place, behind Sunderland whose side includes Fern Katie Kitching.

Percival will spend the rest of the season on loan with Palace, after struggling to regain her place at parent club Tottenham Hotspur who play in the top-tier Women’s Super League.

Percival, who has won 166 caps for New Zealand, says she’s enjoying her time at Palace, where she has moved from her familiar midfield role to right back.

“I think since walking in, on day one, I’ve just tried to get my smile back again, being out on the pitch,” Percival told Crystal Palace’s website.

“The girls and the staff have helped with that massively, making the transition as easy as possible, and ever since walking in there the first day, I’ve just had a smile on my face.

“It’s a great environment to be in and they’ve really got a set-up where they know where they want to head. They are building the right blocks to get there, but they’re also not thinking and looking too far ahead. It’s been a really good transition and it’s been easy for me to step into a brand-new team.

“Obviously, the transition from playing in midfield to being at full-back brings me back to the good old days!

“The team are great, the girls are amazing, and to come in midway through the season, my goal was to come here and help the team. Each week I’ve grown more and more, and it’s been good to slot in and get good minutes and help the team.”

Percival has not been included in the Ferns squad to face Thailand in a two-match series in Christchurch in April.

READ MORE: Coach Jitka Klimková names 24-player Football Ferns squad to face Thailand >>>>


Game played on Monday March 25, 2024 (NZT)

Crystal Palace 3 (Molly Sharpe 4′, Ria Percival 11′, Annabel Blanchard 58′)
Watford 0

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