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Hosts end All Whites' Confeds Cup dream

New Zealand will play for pride and playoff preparation only in their final FIFA Confederations Cup match against Iraq after losing 0-2 to South Africa in Rustenburg on Thursday morning (NZT).

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – New Zealand will play for pride and playoff preparation only in their final FIFA Confederations Cup match against Iraq after losing 0-2 to South Africa in Rustenburg on Thursday morning (NZT).

Bernard Parker’s first goal in the 21st minute relieved some of the immense pressure that had built on the host nation during the week, while his second seven minutes halftime gave Bafana Bafana precious breathing room in a match they were treating as ‘must win.’

“Tonight was disappointing,” New Zealand coach RIcki Herbert said, “there were too many players who were unable to back up.

“We’ve gone into two big games against Italy and Spain with a similar team and I think a few of them struggled to get going tonight.

The result leaves South Africa in second place in Group A on four points, two behind Spain, who booked their semi final berth with a 1-0 win over Iraq in Bloemfontein earlier in the day.

The host nation will now be in the All Whites corner for their tournament swansong at Ellis Park, hoping New Zealand denies Iraq victory to make sure of the Africans’ progress to the semi finals.

For New Zealand, Iraq is a welcome taste of middle eastern opposition – a World Cup playoff against either Bahrain or Saudi Arabia looms later in the year – and another chance to secure a first ever positive result at a Confederations Cup.

“We’re still chasing that elusive point and that will certainly be the focus on Saturday against Iraq.”
The All Whites had hoped to keep South Africa scoreless for as long as possible, build tension and wait for cracks to appear but it was the home side who piled on the pressure, with Everton’s Steven Pienaar providing the creativity lacking in their opening match.

South Africa’s Thembinkosi Fanteni had the best of the early chances and although he made a hash of his first effort in space six yards out, he had the ball in the net on the 10 minute mark only to be called back for offside.
New Zealand weathered that torrid opening 10 minutes and looked to be taking some of the heat out of the game through calmer use of possession until Pienaar overloaded New Zealand’s right hand side and played in Tsepo Masilela, to set up Parker for the opener.

With the pressure lifted, and 35,000 locals in full voice, South Africa relaxed and took charge of the match with the studs of Glen Moss keeping out Fanteni’s 32nd minute effort and keeping New Zealand in the game.
Masilela was again the provider for Parker’s second, a whipped cross that the South African striker steer past a despairing Moss.

Herbert tried to ignite the flame with the introduction of Duncan Oughton, Chris James and Chris Wood, but aside from a Shane Smeltz strike held comfortably by Itumeleng Khune, the All Whites didn’t manage a shot on target.

After a short recovery session, the All Whites move to their new base in Johannesburg where they will get one more to make history.

FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009
Match 6
Group A
New Zealand 0 South Africa 2 (Bernard PARKER 21, 52)
Halftime 0-1
Royal Bafokeng Stadium
Wednesday 17 June

New Zealand: 12-Glen MOSS (GK), 3-Tony LOCHHEAD, 6-Ivan VICELICH, 7-Simon ELLIOTT, 8-Tim BROWN (Captain/4-Duncan OUGHTON 54)), 9-Shane SMELTZ, 10-Chris KILLEN (20-Chris WOOD 75), 11-Leo BERTOS (16-Chris JAMES 66), 14-Jeremy CHRISTIE, 17-David MULLIGAN, 18-Andrew BOYENS.
Substitutes not used: 1-Mark PASTON (RGK), 2-Aaron SCOTT, , 5-Ben SIGMUND, 13-Andy BARRON, 15-Jeremy BROCKIE, 19-Steven OLD21-Kris BRIGHT, 22-Jarrod SMITH, 23-James BANNATYNE (RGK).
Coach: Ricki HERBERT

Cautions: Jeremy CHRISTIE 53, Andy BOYENS 72, Shane SMELTZ 85, Ivan VICELICH 90+3

South Africa: 16-Itumeleng KHUNE (GK), 2-Siboniso GAXA, 3-Tsepo MASILELA, 4-Aaron MOKOENA (Captain), 6-MacBeth SIBAYA, 10-Steven PIENAAR, 12-Teko MODISE, 13-Kagisho DIKGACOI, 14-Matthew BOOTH, 17-Bernard PARKER (8-Siphiwe TSHABALALA 81), 18-Thembinkosi FANTENI (21-Katlego MASHEGO 62).
Substitutes not used: 1-Rowen FERNANDEZ (RGK), 5-Benson MHLONGO, 7-Lance DAVIDS, 9-Katlego MPHELA, 11-Elrio VAN HEERDEN, 15-Innocent MDLEDLE, 19-Bryce MOON, 20-Bongani KHUMALO, 22-Brian BALOYI (RGK), 23-Morgan GOULD.
Coach: Joel SANTANA

Cautions: Steven PIENAAR 80

Standings

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

Spain

2

2

0

0

6

0

6

6

South Africa

2

1

1

0

2

0

2

4

Iraq

2

0

1

1

0

1

-1

1

New Zealand

2

0

0

2

0

7

-7

0

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