May 24, 2012
AUCKLAND – The All Whites have warmed up for the impending World Cup qualifiers with an entertaining 2-2 draw against El Salvador in Houston on Thursday.
Led by 22-year-old Tommy Smith, there were plenty of young faces in the New Zealand side and two of them – debutant Ian Hogg (22) and Kosta Barbarouses (22) – netted their first international goals to earn a share of the spoils against the world number 49.
Hogg’s superb low strike across Salvadoran goalkeeper Benji Villalobos, following a lung-bursting run and interplay from Michael McGlinchey and Barbarouses was deserved reward for an impressive debut on the left flank and drew the sides level at 1-1 in the 28th minute.
Rafael Burgos had earlier taken advantage of a flat New Zealand defence to give El Salvador a 13th minute lead albeit with a hint of offside, and his firm cross 11 minutes into the second half was deflected into the All Whites net by Michael Boxall to restore the lead.
When Shane Smeltz’s powerful shot was only parried by Villalobos in the 64th, Barbarouses was on hand to balance the ledger at 2-2 and secure a justified result.
The All Whites enjoyed a healthy number of chances throughout the match, with one-on-ones to McGlinchey and Barbarouses, saved by Villalobos, and a shot from Marco Rojas that bounced back off the foot of the post the best of the chances not taken.
“That was probably one of the better performances we have put in, with a number of senior players not here and many players coming off six or seven weeks with no football,” said New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert after the match.
“It was a very young side against a team ranked inside the top 50 in the world.
“We led the stats in terms of shots on goals and away from home that’s very pleasing.”
“We had a couple of one on one chances that may have seen a different result but the biggest thing for me is that we played very well tonight. We passed the ball very well, we played with conviction and had good pace coming from the likes of Rojas and Barbarouses.”
The All Whites now move to Dallas where they take on Honduras in the second of two internationals New Zealand are using to warm up for the OFC Nations Cup in the Solomon Islands beginning June 2.
New Zealand 2 (Ian HOGG 28’, Kosta BARBAROUSES 64’)
El Salvador 2 (Rafael BURGOS 13’, Michael BOXALL own goal 56’)
May 23, 2012
BBVA Compass Stadium
New Zealand: Mark PASTON (GK), Michael BOXALL, Ben SIGMUND, Tommy SMITH (captain), Leo BERTOS (Jeremy BROCKIE 65’), Ivan VICELICH, Michael MCGLINCHEY, Ian HOGG, Marco ROJAS (Cameron HOWIESON 72’), Shane SMELTZ (Chris WOOD 65’), Kosta BARBAROUSES.
Substitutes: Jake GLEESON (RGK), Glen MOSS (RGK), Aaron CLAPHAM, Adam MCGEORGE, Tim PAYNE.
Coach: Ricki HERBERT
Cautions: Ben SIGMUND 19’
New Zealand v Honduras
May 26, 2012
Cotton Bowl Stadium
7.30pm local (12.30pm May 27 NZT)
Live on Sky Sport 3
OFC Nations Cup / FIFA World Cup qualifying
2-10 June 2012
Lawson Tama Stadium
Honiara, Solomon Islands
Matches streamed online at www.oceaniafootball.com
New Zealand v Fiji
June 2, 12pm (1pm NZT)
New Zealand v PNG
June 4, 12pm (1pm NZT)
New Zealand v Solomon Islands
June 6, 3pm (4pm NZT)
June 8, 11am & 3pm (12pm & 4pm)
June 10, 3pm (4pm)