27 Mar 2011

All Whites draw in Wuhan

7:43 am on 27 March 2011

The future looks bright for the All Whites after several young players lifted the senior New Zealand men's footballers in Saturday morning's 1-1 draw with China.

An early own goal was cancelled out as the All Whites lifted in the second half once striker Kosta Barbarouses came on with debutant defender Michael Boxall, while fellow back Michael Fitzgerald and midfielder Marco Rojas also shone in their first senior outings.

The New Zealanders overcame a shaky start in Wuhan when defender Andy Boyens scored an own goal after just two minutes to set alarm bells ringing for the visitors.

But a second half goal from Michael McGlinchey - his first at senior international level - inspired the All Whites to a rousing second half performance.

Coach Ricki Herbert was pleased with the character shown by an All Whites side missing regular starters Rory Fallon, Ryan Nelsen and Simon Elliott, to name a few.

Herbert made good on his pre-match promise to utilise his bench and the draw gave Herbert plenty of food for thought with a 2014 World Cup qualification campaign on the horizon.

The next scheduled FIFA international window is June the 4th to 8th, with no fixtures currently set for the All Whites.

China, ranked 76th in the world, face Costa Rica and Honduras in the next four days.