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Junior All Whites pipped by Uruguay in Korea

The Junior All Whites have got an early taste of FIFA U-20 World Cup opponents Uruguay and have posted an encouraging performance in a 0-1 defeat at the four-nation Suwon Cup in Korea on Thursday night.

May 5, 2011

AUCKLAND – The Junior All Whites have got an early taste of FIFA U-20 World Cup opponents Uruguay and have posted an encouraging performance in a 0-1 defeat at the four-nation Suwon Cup in Korea on Thursday night.

New Zealand kept the South Americans scoreless for 75 minutes before Uruguay converted turned-over possession on the halfway line into a swift counter-attack and the game’s only goal.

New Zealand will face Uruguay in their second pool match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia on August 2 – Portugal and Cameroon are also in Group B – and New Zealand coach Chris Milicich was left  frustrated at getting so close to claiming an important scalp.

“I’m absolutely gutted,” said Milicich, “because it was a game we could’ve and should’ve won. At the very least we deserved a draw.”

Milicich did take small consolation in witnessing his side step up against World Cup opposition after winning the OFC U-20 Championship little over a week ago.

“I suppose the closeness of the result is a positive. We’ve never faced a team like this before. Their touch, their control and the movement was second to none but we stepped on to them, we created numerous chances and we now have a benchmark to work form, which is the whole point of this tournament.”

New Zealand started strongly and built enough pressure to force a number of corners and create some useful half chances. 

James Musa thought he had earned his side a penalty when fouled in the box of one set piece inside the first 25 minutes while fellow centre back Nick Branch was called into action on the half hour mark to clear a dangerous ball slid across the face of New Zealand’s goal.

In the second half, substitute Jamie Doris sent a header wide and striker Dakota Lucas squeezed a shot just past the near post in New Zealand’s best chances to open the scoring and even after that honour fell to the Uruguayans, the Junior All Whites came close to equalising, with Ethan Galbraith having the best of the late chances in injury time.

Korea Republic and Nigeria, who have also both qualified for Colombia, squared off in the day’s late kick off on Thursday night, with the African champions wining 1-0.

New Zealand’s next match is against the hosts on Sunday night.

Suwon International Youth (U-20) Tournament 2011
Suwon World Cup Stadium
Suwon, Korea Republic
Uruguay 1 (Diego ROLAN 75’)
New Zealand 0
Halftime: 0-0

New Zealand: Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), Ant HOBBS, Nick BRANCH (capt / Nikko BOXALL 74’), James MUSA, Andrew MILNE, Marco ROJAS, Adam THOMAS (Jamie DORIS 58’), Zane SOLE (Cameron LINDSAY 78’), Michael BUILT (Ryan CAIN 58’), Dakota LUCAS (Sean LOVEMORE 80’), Andy BEVIN (Ethan GALBRAITH 88’).
Substitutes not used: Alex CARR (rgk), Luis ESTEVEZ, Liam HIGGINS.
Coach: Chris MILICICH

Standings

 

 

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

Nigeria

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

3

Uruguay

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

3

Korea Republic

1

0

0

1

0

1

-1

0

New Zealand

1

0

0

1

0

1

-1

0

Suwon International Youth (U-20) Tournament 2011
New Zealand v Korea Republic
May 8, 2011
Kickoff: 7pm (10pm NZT)

New Zealand v Nigeria
May 10, 2011
Kickoff: 11.30am (2.30pm NZT)

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