7 Jun 2009

All Whites draw with Botswana

10:20 am on 7 June 2009

The New Zealand football team has drawn 0-0 with Botswana in Gaborone in a warm-up game for the Confederations Cup.

All Whites coach Ricki Herbert made nine changes and one positional switch, fullback David Mulligan swapping from the right to left flank, to the eleven that started against Tanzania, and introduced Kris Bright from the bench late on as he looked to give as many squad members match time as possible.

Only goalkeeper James Bannatyne and defender Ben Sigmund, who could be fit to play some part against Italy on Thursday morning, have not featured in the first two games.

Despite a taxing travel schedule so far and concerns over the condition of a freshly re-sown pitch at the University of Botswana stadium, Herbert said the team had put aside any distractions.

Meanwhile New Zealand's second Confederations Cup opponents South Africa finished their build up with a 1-0 win over Poland.

The All Whites move to Rustenburg on June 8, a day earlier than originally planned, to allow for extra training sessions before meeting World Champions Italy in Pretoria on June 10.

New Zealand open their FIFA Confederations Cup campaign against Spain in Rustenburg on June 14.