An early goal for Rosie White was enough to give Ferns a win over Norway in Spain on Wednesday. [NZ time].
The experienced striker scored in the fifth minute of his 99th international and secured a 1-0 win, Ferns' first on a FIFA World Ranking since November 2015 and the second over Norway in seven meetings.
Coach Tom Sermanni prepared the team to play with three players, putting Abby Erceg at the heart of the defense, where she, Anna Green, Meikayla Moore and Rebekah Stott, who replaced Green in the interval, made crucial interventions.
Midfielder Caroline Graham Hansen was a constant threat to Norway during the second half, sending several attempts to Erin Nayler's goal.
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Nayler was only forced to make a save while Norway's No. 12 chased the game, tying Guro Reiten in the 82nd minute to keep Ferns number 19 ahead.
The Kiwis' best chance of doubling their lead came with 20 minutes to play when Betsy Hassett sent a Katie Bowen shot straight for the Norwegian goalkeeper.
White was alert early on, taking advantage of his 24th international goal when Norway defender Maria Thorisdottir tried to push a dangerous ball back to the goalkeeper, but he could not get enough.
The last time the Ferns won against a higher ranked opponent was in November 2015, when they went to Brazil and won by 1×0.
This victory will serve as a sign that they are on the right track before the Women's World Cup in France in June.
They are next in action in mid-May when they play in the United States as they begin their final preparations for the match event.