25 May 2010

All Whites in encouraging World Cup warmup

9:52 am on 25 May 2010

The All Whites lost their opening World Cup warmup match 2-1 to the Soceroos last night in Melbourne but came away with most of the credit.

Up against the strongest XI available to Australia, the All Whites opened the scoring through Chris Killen after 16 minutes, and eight minutes later Killen hit the post with a swinging volley.

The All Whites generally played Australia off the park in the first 45 minutes.

Australia equalised after 57 minutes through a cruel deflection in the New Zealand defence, and the home team's embarrassment was spared only through a goal from Brett Holman four minutes into stoppage time.

The Australian coach Pim Verbeek said his team didn't deserve to win, and he slammed his two midfielders Vince Grella and Tim Cahill for two brutal first half tackles that sent Leo Bertos off the field.

Verbeek said he thought of taking both players from the field immediately, but waited until half-time.

Both coaches agreed that Australia were lucky not to be down to nine men after the two incidents.

Another injury concern for the All Whites was the midfielder and vice-captain Tim Brown, who popped a shoulder and was taken to hospital for scans.