Late New Zealand heroics seals draw

Making their first appearance at a World Cup since 1982, New Zealand held Slovakia to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday morning.

The Kiwis obtained their first point ever at a World Cup after Winston Reid headed home a crossed ball past helpless Slovak keeper Jan Mucha deep in second half injury time.

It was a well deserved equalizer considering replays showed that Robert Vittek’s opening goal for Slovakia in the 50th minute was clearly offside.

The first half saw very little action from both sides, New Zealand keeper Mark Paston provided the most nervous moment nearly gifting a goal to Slovakia after misjudging a clearance kick. He luckily for New Zealand’s sake went unpunished.

Vittek’s goal early in the second half opened the game quite a bit for both sides. After conceding, New Zealand began to become more adventurous offensively but it looked all for not with time running out until a hopeful Shane Smeltz cross was put in by Reid to make New Zealand history.

Slovakia star Marek Hamsik was surprisingly quiet failing to leave much impact in the game which was surprising considering the Napoli star had been in good form.

New Zealand will look to carry the momentum into their next game when they meet World Cup defending champions Italy while Slovakia take on Paraguay, both games occurring on Sunday.

About this article

By: Igor Henriques
Posted: Jun 15 2010 1:24 pm
Filed under: 2010 World Cup