8 Aug 2011

Junior All Whites out of World Cup

6:26 am on 8 August 2011

The Junior All Whites have been eliminated from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia with results on the final day of pool play sending confirming their exit.

Sitting on two points, New Zealand needed results in one of the final two groups to go their way on Sunday to join the last 16 as one of the four best third place teams.

But while Spain helped the New Zealanders cause with a 5-1 thrashing of Australia, a 3-0 win for Ecuador over Costa Rica lifted the South Americans to second in Group C with Costa Rica's three points also good enough to progress in third place.

That left the Junior All Whites hopes hanging on the Group D encounter between Croatia and Guatemala finishing in a draw.

A stalemate - and a place in the knockout stages for New Zealand - appeared on the cards until midfielder Marvin Ceballos netted an 81st minute winner that sent Guatemala through to the second round and left the Junior All Whites packing their bags.

New Zealand finishes the 24-nation tournament in 17th place, having claimed their first ever points at this level in just their second appearance at the finals.