Tessel Middag of West Ham United Women and Ria Percival of Tottenham Hotspur Women. Tottenham Hotspur Women v West Ham United Women, WSL football match, The Hive Stadium, London, UK - 12 Jan 2020 Photo: Kunjan Malde for The FA

Tottenham Hotspur defender earns 150th senior cap for Football Ferns

Tottenham Hotspur defender Ria Percival has won her 150th senior international cap for New Zealand this afternoon as they took on Norway in an Algarve Cup 2020 fixture.

The Football Ferns lost the match 2-1 at the Estadio Algarve as they finished the tournament in fourth place after losing two of their three matches.

New Zealand took an early lead against Norway with Hannah Wilkinson getting on the scoresheet but their opponents quickly fought back with Synne Jensen netting an equaliser just four minutes later. The match looked to be heading to penalties until Caroline Graham Hansen struck an 86th-minute winner for Norway.

The defeat will have been disappointing for Spurs defender Percival who collected her 150th senior international cap for her country, over 13 years on from making her debut for New Zealand. Head coach Tom Sermanni fielded Percival in midfield against Norway. The 30-year-old played the full 90 minutes for the Football Ferns as she added another cap to her collection, an ever-growing record number for her country.

Percival made her senior international debut for New Zealand in a 3-0 loss to China in November 2006. The player has gone on to become one of her country’s greatest-ever footballers and she still has years ahead to increase her stature.

Despite being born in Basildon, Percival had never played in the FA Women’s Super League until she joined West Ham United last season. The defender moved to current club Tottenham Hotspur last summer and she has helped the North Londoners establish themselves in the top flight.

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