A point for both teams. Slovakia were marginally better than New Zealand for 92 minutes but in the last minute, Reid scores and all is square in Group F…Slovakia will be kicking themselves!
GOOOOOOOOOOALLLLL… FANTASTIC…REID with an open header and he makes Slovakia pay for very slack defending. Slovakia were lulled to sleep by an anemic attacking display from the all whites…but at the end they were made to pay!
88:00 -Hopefully the ref will be kind and not have any extra time. OHHH. and as I write New Zealand has a decent effort from a cross from Lochhead but Smeltz’s header flashes wide.
85:00 – In other news Drogba is starting on the bench in the upcoming match against Portugal. That doesn’t make sense to me. If you plan on using him, use him from the beginning and then take him off.
83:00 – Holosko takes over from where Sestak left off and attacks down the right side. He wins a corner. Nothing comes from it…Luckily the sun is up and am fully awake.
81:00 – Slovakia take off Sestak and Holosko comes on. I think Sestak has been their best player, constantly making open runs down the wing. He also set up the only goal. Most importantly for the viewing public he’s been exciting!
78:00 – Another change for New Zealand as they take of Vicelich and put on a striker, Jeremy Christie. At least they trying to get an equalizer.
72:00 - Chris Wood on and Chris Killen off. Good thing as Killen just lashed out at a Slovakian player.
71:00 – Hamsik’s hair is impressive! more so in ESPNs super slow motion.
69:00 – OHHH good football all around as New Zealand try some quick interchange of passes that is broken up by Slovakia who lead a 4 on 3 attack. Vittek charges through but his run is intercepted and Slovakia win a corner. Nothing comes of it.
64:00 – Lovely control by Sestak as he catches a high through ball between two Kiwi defenders. He tried to dribble past the defenders but lays off to Hamsik who balloons his shot high over the goal.
62:00 - New Zealand pass the ball around for about an entire minute going up and down the field. The final cross though is poor and straight at Mucha who catches easily. Hard to tell if Slovakia are just content to play defense or if that was improved play from their opponents.
58:00 - Weiss’s turn to attack down the right side which seems to be the weakest part of the New Zealand squad. He gets a little greedy though as he touches too far and the ball is well claimed by Paston.
54:00 – Sestak just runs through the defense like a hot knife through butter. The butter reference sadly describes the all whites challenging abilities…very soft. But back to Sestak as his run is eventually cut off, more due to his ball control then any Kiwi getting stuck in.
50:00 – GOOOOOOALLLLLL. A header by Vittek. A lovely cross from Sestak that goes past the New Zealand defenders and Vittek dives and heads the ball past a hapless Paston. Slovakia 1 – New Zealand 0
47:00 – Interesting stat by I believe Adrain Healey, in that Slovakia scored 22 goals in qualification taking only 78 shots. That’s amazing!
46:00 - Freshly showered, I’m now awake, though admittedly the first half did its best to put me back to sleep. Hoping for a goal fest in the next 45!
And they’re back and the All Whites kick it off.
PEEEEEP PEEP – Halftime.
45:00 – All whites are giving up a lot of free kicks about 40 yards out from goal. Their defense is not bad in dealing with them (though Paston flaps at the last one) but Slovakia are becoming increasingly dangerous.
43:00 – A training ground worked free kick by Slovakia has Hamsik taking a shot from about 25 yards out and he keeps the ball down. Paston saves comfortably though.
41:00 – New Zealand win a couple of corners and are creating half chances but Slovakia are bossing the game.
38:00 - New Zealand venture forward and Smeltz cuts through the Slovakian defense and his shot is parried wide into the side netting. Referee doesn’t see the touch though and a goal kick is awarded.
35:00 – Slovakia beginning to gain more momentum as they’re keeping the ball in New Zealands half but none of their shots are threatening Pastons goal.
28:00 - Some nice passing as Weiss breaks through but his shot is wide. Nice by Slovakia. New Zealand defense was as awake as I am right there.
27:00 – Hoping for an entertaining game as the only thing i really know about either team is Martin Skrtel and that’s because of Liverpool connections.
I would have assumed due to the draw yesterday that both teams would go for it.
22:00 - Slovakia pressing more now as Hamsik tries to send a curler past Paston but his effort is wide.
19:00 – Seems to be a midfield battle from what i can tell but I’m still groggy as all hell.
15 minutes late. Tried to see what would happen if I slept on the couch instead of my bed as I would be 10 seconds closer to the TV. Mixed Results.
Slovakia: Mucha, Zabavnik, Durica, Skrtel, Cech, Strba, Weiss, Sestak, Hamsik, Vittek, Jendrisek.
Subs: Pernis, Pekarik, Kozak, Sapara, Holosko, Jakubko, Stoch, Kucka, Kopunek, Salata, Petras, Kuciak.
New Zealand: Paston, Reid, Nelsen, Vicelich, Smith, Bertos, Elliott, Lochhead, Fallon, Smeltz, Killen. Subs: Moss, Sigmund, Brown, Barron, McGlinchey, Clapham, Mulligan, Boyens, Wood, Christie, Brockie, Bannatyne.