The Young Football Ferns went into this match knowing that defeat would end their quarter-final hopes but they were fearless in their early play, with Hannah Wall carving out a great early opportunity that Annalie Longo slid millimetres wide of the far of post.
Longo, nursing a calf injury that had threatened her participation in the match, might have been expected to hit the target, but she wasted little time in making amends. With just 13 minutes played, the bustling little midfielder thrilled the 11,170 crowd inside Auckland's North Harbour Stadium with a stunning opening goal, lofting a perfectly-weighted chip past the stranded Line Gissel from 25 yards.
New Zealand were good value for their lead and had several chances to extend it but, just as in their opening match, their profligacy ultimately came back to haunt them. Just seconds after Rosie White's shot had bounced back off the post and into Gissel's arms, Denmark launched a counter-attack that ended with Simone Boye crossing low for Linette Andreasen to poke home the equaliser.
The Danes now had a foothold in this match and, with 10 minutes of the second half played, they scored what turned out to be the decisive goal. Defender Britta Olsen claimed it, winning a 50-50 on the halfway line before setting off on a penetrating run through the Kiwi defence that ended with a precise left-foot shot into the far corner of the net.