Over 20,000 were at the Amex Stadium in Brighton for England’s World Cup send off match but New Zealand spoiled the party with a 1-0 victory.
England dominated the first half without threatening the New Zealand goal to many times.
Jodie Taylor had some opportunities and stumbled under the challenge of goalkeeper Erin Nayler, who also made a good block to a goalbound effort from the Lionesses forward.
The Football Ferns only chance before the break came almost on half time with a defender down in the box but Carly Telford turned the ball over the crossbar.
Despite the home side being so much on top, it was Tom Sermanni’s side who went ahead on 50 minutes, Telford spilling a Rosie White shot and Sarah Gregorious on hand to finish.
England looked to respond quickly and Lucy Staniforth curled a free kick over the angle.
Ellen White forced a couple of late corners, a Steph Houghton header dropping over the bar from the second.
Late substitute Georgia Stanway also cleared the bar with a chance 20 yards out.
England: Telford, Bronze, McManus, Houghton, Greenwood, Walsh (Stanway, 88), Staniforth (Scott, 67), Parris (Mead, 67), Taylor (White, 74), Kirby, Duggan (Carney, 53)
Unused Subs: Bardsley, Bright, Williamson, Roebuck, Blundell
New Zealand: Nayler, Percival, Bott (Satchell, 82), Moore, Stott, Riley, Erceg, Gregorius (Wilkinson, 64), Hassett (Longo, 72), White (Chance, 72), Bowen
Unused Subs: Esson, Olla, Morton. Duncan, Skilton, Cleverley