Winston Reid headed in an injury-time goal to avoid the loss for New Zealand.
Slovakia, which upset the Czech Republic and Poland in qualifying, was the more controlled team, but was stifled by New Zealand’s tight defense. Robert Vittek had the chance to double the lead for Slovakia in the 69th minute, but the Kiwi keeper Mark Paston made the save.
Player of the Game
Winston Reid, New Zealand
Reid’s late header lifted New Zealand to a 1-1 draw. On the defensive end, he also prevented Slovakia from doubling its lead with a slide tackle in the 69th minute.
Slovakia’s Vittek scored at the 50-minute mark on a header for a 1-0 lead. Reid’s goal tied it up in injury-time.
Reid picked up a yellow card for an exuberant shirtless celebration following his goal. …With Italy and Paraguay’s tie on Monday, all four teams have one point in Group F. …The 38,646-capacity stadium was only two-thirds full for the match.
Slovakia goes up against Paraguay on Sunday, June 20 at 7:30 a.m. ET. New Zealand takes on Italy at 10 a.m.