Tuesday 20 February 2018

New Zealand v Slovakia: Minute by minute

New Zealand 1
Reid 92
Slovakia 1
Vittek 50

A New Zealand fan before the match. Photo: Getty Images
A New Zealand fan before the match. Photo: Getty Images

Jonathan Liew

Minute-by-minute commentary from the World Cup 2010 Group F match between New Zealand and Slovakia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg on Tuesday June 15 2010, kick-off 12.30 BST.

WRAP: People say you get nothing for effort. New Zealand did today. They never stopped running, stuck to their game plan, challenged for every ball and left with a point.

You have to say Slovakia deserved that, too. It took them at least half an hour to get going, they failed to press home their advantage after they went ahead by being unforgivably lackadaisical in possession, and while they had all of the quality, they had none of the class.

What a result for New Zealand, who don't even have a professional league of their own. Group F comes down to a two-game shoot-out, with all four teams on one point and one goal. And hey - isn't it good to have some excitement at last? Switch over to the other side now for Ivory Coast v Portugal, I'll see you around.

14.21 Embraces on the pitch. Wild celebrations amongst the Kiwis in the Rustenberg stands. Could that be the goal that finally gets the World Cup going?

FULL TIME New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia History for the All Whites! Their first ever World Cup point! They're joint top of the group!

90+2 min GOAL New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia (Reid) Would you believe it?
Just as three minutes of injury time tick over, Shane Smeltz does well on the left and carves out enough space for a cross. Winston Reid, a centre-back who had stayed forward, rises highest with the strength of an entire nation, and heads it past Mucha. Incredible scenes!

90+1 min They're throwing everything at this, New Zealand, but the ball just isn't breaking for them. Long ball by Nelsen, which is headed away. Long ball by Smith, which is blocked.

89 min Elliott moves it out right for Bertos, who lifts it in to Fallon, who heads it more up than goalwards. Now Smith with the cross, but Wood can't get any direction on the header and his West Brom team-mate Marek Cech can clear. Kucka comes on for Vladimir Weiss as Slovakia make their last substitution. Three minutes of injury time to play.

87 min And that was a chance for Smeltz! Lochhead's been New Zealand's best player, and he puts in a gorgeous cross from the left, which goes over the head of Skrtel but not of Smeltz. Smeltz, though, heads wide. And well wide, considering how good a chance that was. Remember when I said this game would be decided on one golden chance? That was it. "They haven't been out-classed," Simon Brotherton says on the BBC. But they have been out-gunned.

86 min Super cross-field ball by Lochhead to Leo Bertos. Bertos runs at Slovakia, but - sigh - loses it.

85 min Both teams appear to have tired a little. This game is being played at altitude, after all. But the sight of them flagging will encourage Italy and Paraguay.

84 min A little team news from Port Elizabeth. Didier Drogba will start on the bench for Ivory Coast against Portugal. He'll be playing with a cast on his arm, the great big wuss.

83 min And now Vittek, the goalscorer, comes off, and we're going to see Miroslav Stoch of Chelsea. He hasn't started for them yet, but the 20 year-old is very highly rated.

81 min A couple of substitutions to catch up on while I was being temporarily hypnotised by the sight of balls flying over everyone's heads and out of play, which is what the last few minutes have largely consisted of. Jeremy Christie has replaced Vicelich for New Zealand; Holosko has come on for Sestak.

79 min Ever taken a free-kick from your own half that sails straight out of play? Tony Lochhead now has.

76 min This blasted ball! Sestak and Vittek play a neat one-two, but by the time the ball has gone on its planetary bounce and returned to foot level, Lochhead has had time to rustle himself up a kedgeree and get back to block. 75 min Slovakia's best hope will come on the break. Jendrisek does break, and tries some sort of cross-shot twaddle from the left-hand side.

74 min Sestak gets round the back and crosses for Weiss! But it's cut out. To state the obvious, Slovakia would very much appreciate a second goal here.

72 min New Zealand are having a good couple of minutes. If only they could switch it out wide a little quicker.

71 min Twenty minutes to go, and New Zealand change things around. Chris Killen goes off, and is replaced by 18-year-old Chris Wood of West Brom. New Zealand's Michael Owen? Probably more like their Sid Owen.

69 min It's Slovakia's eighth corner of the game, and it's taken short. Weiss, latterly of Bolton, does a few tricks on the left, but can't get a cross in. And what's the point of taking a corner short if you don't cross it?

68 min Slovakia break up a New Zealand attack and burst forward with numbers. Strba plays it right for Sestak, who slips it inside for Vittek, but Winston Reid gets an excellent tackle in.

66 min Both teams are relatively inexperienced. Only three players in the two squads have more than 50 international caps: Vittek, Vicelich and Elliott.

64 min A long, long ball is brought down well by Sestak, but he has three defenders to contend with. He holds it up well before laying it off for Hamsik, who lofts his shot into Sun City.

63 min Vicelich gives the ball away for New Zealand. Vittek gets the cross in, but Paston can simply do what he does best - leave it.

61 min Nice passing move by New Zealand sees left-back Ryan Lochhead swirl a cross in, but it's easy for Mucha to claim. You feel, though, that New Zealand will get at least one decent chance to level. The game may well hinge on whether they take it.

59 min A little bit of possession for New Zealand, but it's firmly in their own half.

57 min The Slovakian team look terrifying. Almost to a man, they're shaven-headed, heavily tattooed, and tackle with unnerving malevolence. If these are their footballers, imagine what their cage fighters are like.

56 min New Zealand haven't really offered anything in the second half. They had their hopes pinned on a 0-0, to be honest. They'll be fast asleep in Wellington, but the All Whites still have over half an hour to give them something nice to wake up to.

John Ley on Twitter: "That's the 13th goal New Zealand have conceded in just four World Cup games."

54 min Yellow card for Strba for a silly hack from behind on Elliott.

53 min Great run by Sestak, and it takes three men to stop him. Sestak could have passed there, but Slovakia are certainly looking more confident on the ball.

51 min And a nasty injury for Elliott, a former Fulham player, as he gets caught on the toe, I think. But he's back on the field, but New Zealand haven't given the ball back from the restart. That might rankle a little.

49 min GOAL New Zealand 0-1 Slovakia (Vittek) Eat that, Ogden! A goal! A free header for Vittek, but a good one, as Weiss does some good work down the right. That will settle Slovakia, and if so, we might see a few more.

Kevin Garside on Twitter: "My colleague Mark Ogden comments on FIFA observation that NZL v SVK is 'end to end. Can't wait for it to end'."

47 min And a bit of an anticlimax. The referee blows for a little shirt tug by Skrtel in the area.

46 min Weiss, the player not the manager, has certainly come out with a little more intent. He wins the first corner of the half, off Lochhead.

13.31 Oh look, we're about to start again. No changes by either team.

Mark Ogden on Twitter: "Fifa showing highlights of NZ-SVK first half. They've just shown the coin toss. Seriously. New Zealand won."

Kevin Garside on Twitter: "The queue at the food counter in the Port Elizabeth media room up to 400. That's how good the New Zealand v Slovakia game is."

13.20 In unrelated developments: a man named Bryan Bong has just started following me on Twitter. I feel like I should definitely say something to him. I don't know what.

WRAP: New Zealand have impressed. They're clearly a team greater than the sum of its journeyman parts. Slovakia should still have too much for them, though, if they can only get the ball down and play. It feels a little like a pre-season friendly at the moment - lots of chances, but not too much quality.

HALF TIME: New Zealand 0-0 Slovakia Entertaining half, though.

Sami Rajab on e-mail: "What's score." Nil-nil, Sami, it's at the top of the page.

45 min Strba has a terrifying red and blue tattoo that covers most of his right forearm. Either it is a tattoo, or he's about 15% of the way to becoming Spiderman. One minute of added time.

44 min Strba with a free-kick for Slovakia from around 45 yards. Again, Paston comes and almost misses it! Corner.

Rory Smith on Twitter: "Group F is nicely poised. Italy underperforming, Paraguay underrated, Slovakia under the radar. New Zealand not incompetent. Snobbery unnecessary."

42 min Yellow card for Tony Lochhhead for a challenge on Strba, I think. From the free-kick, Weiss leaves the ball and Hamsik forces a good save from Paston, who tips it over.

41 min Shocking corner by Leo Bertos - the kind that makes forwards from hotter countries pound the ground with their first and throw their arms in the air. Instead, New Zealand simply trudge back to their own half.

40 min Not much midfield play in this game. New Zealand run it forward with speed, and Lochhead wins a corner on the left. And another, on the opposite flank this time, as Reid shoots against Durica.

39 min In what awful universe does Mark Paston get to play in a World Cup while Ryan Giggs sits at home? Durica headed it across goal, and Paston could simply have claimed it. Instead, for some unfathomable reason, he leaves it for an alarmed defender on the line, who boots it clear.

38 min Vittek runs at Simon Elliott, and wins a corner on the Slovakia right.

37 min And Shane Smeltz shoots into the side netting from the angle! Half a chance, that, and it looks like Mucha actually got a touch on that. It should have been a corner. But that chance came out of virtually nothing.

35 min Breaking news: Mark Paston is not Rob Green in disguise. He did, though, play for Bradford, Walsall and St Johnstone, but failed to become a first-team regular at any of them.

34 min New Zealand are barely hanging on here. Vittek with a sharp left-footed shot from 20 yards, and that's not too far wide.

32 min Oh, Mark Paston! He slips as he makes a clearance and suddenly Vittek has the ball with Paston scrambling frantically to get back to his goal! Vittek is forced wide, tries to cut it back, but New Zealand amass bodies in the area and shepherd it away. Is Paston Rob Green in disguise?

31 min Killen shots wide from distanc

29 min Skrtel with the header, wide! What on earth was Mark Paston doing? He came to claim the cross, but didn't get in the same postcode as it.

28 min Free-kick to Slovakia on the right. Fallon heads it behind for a corner, Slovakia's first of the game.

27 min Sestak! Best chance of the game. Great little play between Sestak and Weiss about 25 yards out, and Weiss eventually plays a neat little ball through to Sestak, who has time to turn and shoot from 14 yards. He tries to beat Paston at his near post, but it goes wide.

25 min The ball's swung in again towards Rory Fallon, but he was leaning on Martin Skrtel.

23 min Ryan Nelsen's wife is due to give birth the day before the final, a state of affairs which led to the most pointless interview I've ever read. In it, Nelsen talked at great length about what would happen if New Zealand reached the final, a scenario so unlikely Nostradamus identified it as one of the signs that the world was ending.

21 min First moment of real danger from Slovakia. Hamsik waltzes through and tries to curl one past Paston. It just misses the upright, though.

20 min Slovakia seem fairly content at the moment to knock the ball around and wait for New Zealand to make an error. There's a manic quality about New Zealand's play at the moment - almost like they're pretending to play like a World Cup team, and doing it quite convincingly.

18 min The Mexican wave has started already. It's not a comment on the entertainment value of the game, it's just become, you know, a thing.

16 min Hamsik with a throw from the left, Vittek shoots from the corner of the area, and it balloons over. Slovakia just coming into this game a bit more.

15 min And the first real clog. Ryan Lochhead tries to hook the ball clear out of defence, but ends up slicing it horizontally, straight out of play for a throw.

13 min Vittek puts in a deep cross, and Hamsik almost gets on the end of it. Nice open game, this - it's got a very Cardiff v Sheffield United feel about it.

11 min New Zealand are playing a little like a League One or Championship team. They have a bit of hustle about them, and a predictable but highly effective game-plan - get it wide, whip it in, get the big man on it.

10 min Slovakia clear it, but as Leo Bertos, who just four years ago was playing for Worksop Town in the Conference North, is brought down as he brings it back forward. I'm not even sure what sport they play in the Conference North.

9 min New Zealand have by no means looked overawed or outclassed so far. They win a corner as Durica gets in front of Rory Fallon and heads behind.

8 min So here are some more facts about New Zealand, before they spoil my carefully-calculated strategy of ridicule by scoring. Two of their players are currently 'unattached', which means they can't convince anybody in the world to pay them to play football.

6 min Another cross by New Zealand causes Mucha a bit of trouble. It looks like the aerial threat is the way they're going to go...

4 min Chance for New Zealand, and you could argue they should be ahead! A free-kick is swung in from the left, and Killen's header is straight at goalkeeper Mucha. Great chance. At the other end, Vladimir Weiss (the son of coach Vladimir Weiss, and grandson of Slovakian legend Vladimir Weiss) twists and turns before shooting straight at the goalkeeper Mark Paston.

2 min Remarkably enough, it's New Zealand who have the first shot on goal, from Chris Killen, but it goes well over.

1 min If anything, the pressure is all on Slovakia today. Every team that plays New Zealand will expect to beat them comfortably. Some more facts for you, Iain - the All Whites manager, Ricki Herbert, earns £25,000 a year, or roughly the amount Didier Drogba spends on having a bath.

12.31 We're away. New Zealand in their traditional all-white, Slovakia all in blue.

12.30 If it's research you want, Iain, then feast yourself on this. New Zealand played eight games to qualify for South Africa, beating Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Bahrain along the way, while recovering from a 2-0 defeat at home to Fiji. Until their 1-0 warm-up win against Serbia, they hadn't beaten a top-50 ranked side in eight years, and only once in their history had they beaten a team from Europe or South America. That was Georgia. Bet you wish I'd kept quiet now, don't you Iain?

New Zealand cricketer Iain O'Brien on Twitter: "BBC being, well, a**** about this match. No research done at all; do it, then start your commentary again! C'mon All Whites!"

12.26 The BBC are clearly having a little fun with Alan Hansen this World Cup. Not content with putting him on Algeria v Slovenia duty on his 55th birthday, they opened the show today by showing him footage of the only two goals New Zealand have scored in their World Cup history, both against a Hansen-marshalled Scotland in 1982. They followed this with a long-range attempt on goal by Hansen that almost hits the corner flag. Hansen tries to press out a smile and not look like a bad sport, but fails on both counts.

12.22 Let's get some chat going today. I'm sure if we pool all our knowledge on Slovakia and New Zealand, we'll have enough to sustain a 90-minute live blog. Who said "do your research"? E-mail us.

12.20 One big name on the Slovakia bench - Chelsea's Miroslav Stoch, who hasn't trained with a knee problem. Probably the right decision by manager Vladimir Weiss not to start him - you'd be gutted if all you had to show for your first World Cup was 15 minutes against New Zealand.


Cliche Bingo!

"New Zealand could be lamb to the slaughter today"

"With the Kiwis playing with a defensive mindset, it could be a bit of a Crowded House in that penalty area"

"Foul by Skrtel"


12.15 Welcome to the New Zealand v Slovakia live blog. I'm aware this isn't the fixture you had in mind when you imagined the World Cup in all its munificent majesty, but you should stick with it, and here's why. Hands up who knows anything about New Zealand. Right. And of those people that didn't put their hands up, who knows what's going to happen today. Exactly. Wouldn't you like to say you were there when Slovakia scored fourteen in the World Cup? Or when New Zealand, a country hitherto known for rugby, Flight of the Conchords AND THAT'S IT, pulled off one of the greatest shocks in history?

We have teams for you below.

New Zealand (4-5-1): Paston; Reid, Nelsen, Smith, Lochhead; Vicelich, Bertos, Elliott, Smeltz, Killen; Fallon.

Slovakia (4-3-3): Mucha; Zabavnik, Skrtel, Durica, Cech; Strba, Weiss, Hamsik; Vittek, Sestak, Jendrisek.

Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico).

Previous meetings: None


Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport