11 Jun 2009

All Whites almost beat Italy

11:36 am on 11 June 2009

The All Whites have just missed the chance to score one of their greatest ever results, beaten 4-3 by world champions Italy at a Confederations Cup warmup match in Pretoria.

Italy, who are ranked fourth in the world, had to come from behind three times to beat the 82nd-ranked New Zealanders.

Shane Smeltz opened the scoring with Chris Killen scoring either side of half time, while the Italians were forced to bring on a couple of their stars to secure the win in the last 20 minutes.

New Zealand have never picked up a point in their two previous trips to the Confederations Cup, but coach Ricki Herbert says this result might help break that drought.

New Zealand play their first game of the Confederations Cup against European champions Spain on Monday morning in Group A while Italy's opener is against the United States in Group B on Tuesday morning.