In Christchurch on Tuesday, the Football Ferns encountered a frustrating deadlock against Thailand, settling for a 0-0 draw merely three days following a decisive 4-0 victory over the same opponent. Despite a staggering 22 attempts on goal compared to Thailand’s solitary shot, the Ferns couldn’t breach the net.

The match saw the Ferns maintain their dominance, reminiscent of their previous triumph, yet falter where it counted the most – converting opportunities into goals. A crucial moment occurred in stoppage time when substitute Meikayla Moore squandered a golden chance, failing to capitalize on a close-range header opportunity.

This perplexing outcome raises the question: did the Football Ferns exhaust their goal-scoring reservoir for 2024 during their initial encounter with Thailand? Remarkably, their goal tally from the first match equaled the total goals scored throughout 1440 minutes of play in 2023.

While Thailand mustered a single shot in the second match, their defensive resilience barely warranted the draw, with goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao largely dealing with routine saves. The outcome, largely attributed to the Ferns’ inefficiency in front of goal, left the 3503 spectators pondering the missed opportunities.

Coach Jitka Klimkov√° made strategic adjustments to the lineup, introducing three changes from the previous encounter. However, despite dominating possession and creating numerous chances, the Ferns failed to convert. A series of missed opportunities ensued, including near-misses from Hannah Wilkinson and Jacqui Hand in the first half, followed by promising headers from Ally Green and Wilkinson in the second half.

As the match progressed, substitutions were made in an attempt to inject fresh impetus into the Ferns’ attack. However, despite several late chances, including a header from Hand and missed opportunities from Green and Moore, the final whistle blew, leaving the Ferns rueful over their profligacy in front of goal.

Looking ahead, the Ferns are set to face formidable opponents more reflective of those they’ll encounter at the Olympics. With the squad composition under scrutiny, players will be keen to impress in upcoming fixtures to secure their spots in the Olympic roster. As the Ferns disperse to their respective clubs, focus now shifts to individual performances as they seek to solidify their positions for the impending challenges ahead.