Group F, Rustenburg, 13.30 SA Time
Slovakia started to grow after 20’, after both teams had seen several tentative shots go off-target. On 39’, Hamsik’s shot was saved by Paston, a carbon copy being produced on 43’. In the first half, Slovakia had 5 corners to New Zealand’s three.
On 50’, Vittek (FIFA Man of the Match) scored, heading in a cross from Sestak. While Slovakia pressed forward, New Zealand never gave up. Smeltz headed over from a good position in front of goal on 88’ and on 93’, Reid headed the equaliser. Slovakia’s 5 corners to New Zealand’s zero in the second half sums up the game but not the result.
New Zealand: Paston, Lochhead, Reid, Vicelich (Christie), Nelsen, Elliott, Smeltz, Killen (Wood), Bertos, Fallon, Smith
Slovakia: Mucha, Skrtel, Cech, Zabavnik, Strba, Weiss (Kucka), Sestak (Holosko), Vittek (Stoch), Durica, Hamsik, Jendrisek
In a weary world of endless US military interventions, sanctions, trade tariffs and chaos, let’s pause and take stock of the shining house on the hill