5 Jun 2016

Matildas waltz over Ferns

5:32 am on 5 June 2016

A Caitlin Foord double has earned the Australian women's football team a hard-fought 2-0 win over the Football Ferns in Ballarat.

Caitlin Foord and Anna Green, 2012.

Caitlin Foord and Anna Green, 2012. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Ferns, who were looking to mark Ali Riley's 100th appearance for the national side with a special performance, competed well for long periods but were undone by the pace and ruthlessness of the Australian attack and could not break down their uncompromising defence.

The World No. 5 team began at blistering pace and were rewarded in the fifth minute when Foord opened the scoring.

The 21-year-old right winger, whose electric pace caused the Ferns problems all match, hit a low cross through a host of bodies in the box and past keeper Erin Nayler into the back of the net.

New Zealand's Betsy Hasset, 2012.

New Zealand's Betsy Hasset, 2012. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand fought their way back into the match in the first half but were unable to convert from their four shots on goal before the Australians pushed further ahead shortly after the break.

Foord showed her finishing ability when she coolly netted a Michelle Heyman back heel to confirm the home side's advantage.

Five minutes later she came close to securing a hat-trick when she forced another save from with a well hit volley.

The Ferns scrambled hard in the second half but the Matildas were in control and they ensured that Riley, who became the fifth New Zealander to reach 100 caps in international football, would not seal her milestone with a win.

Ali Riley plays against the Matildas in 2011.

Ali Riley plays against the Matildas in 2011. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Football Ferns hope to bounce back in the second international friendly against the Matildas on Tuesday in Melbourne which is their final game before the Rio Olympics.