BBC Sport world-cup-2010

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia

By Caroline Cheese & Jonathan Stevenson
  1. 09:20 Commentary  

    Hello. I know, I know, it’s all been a bit “hmmmm” and a bit “meh” so far hasn’t it? (Except you Germany, you swots). But today simply cannot disappoint. Heavyweights Brazil and Portugal enter the fray, as do one of Africa’s best hopes in Ivory Coast. Plus we’ll get to see two of the more intriguing sides at this tournament: North Korea and New Zealand. And Slovakia!

  2. 09:22 Commentary  

    At 1230 BST, New Zealand kick off against Slovakia. Until then, we’ll have a little look at all the best paper chat, we’ll reflect on Italy’s underwhelming draw against Paraguay, and get really very excited about today’s games only to be crushingly disappointed when they actually happen. Probably.

  3. 09:26 Commentary  

    So if you’re on a UK vibe, by which I mean you live in the UK, you’ll know that one man dominates the news today. Rob Green takes a day off as Franz Beckenbauer arrives on the back page of pretty much every single newspaper. Der Kaiser wrote in his column for a South African newspaper: "What I saw of the English against the USA had very little to do with football. It looked to me as if the English have gone backwards into the bad old days of kick and rush.”

  4. 09:30 Commentary  

    What Beckenbauer has failed to realise is that it is not England’s fault that they cannot pass the ball to each other, it is the fault of that pesky Jabulani. Both Frank Lampard and Clint Dempsey reckoned the ball deviated before Rob Green's horror mistake on Saturday (even though that was not evident to any normal eye). The Independent reports that Fabio Capello turned down the chance to train with the ball before the friendly with Egypt in March, because he simply didn't think it was worth it...

  5. SMS  

    Brent, Kiwi in London: "Come on you Kiwis! Watch for Sugarfoot Shane Smeltz to light up the World Cup, the A-League hitman is ready."

  6. 09:36 Commentary  

    Ball trouble is not just limited to England. Serbia's Nemanja Vidic, Algeria's Majid Bougherra, Slovenia's Robert Koren and Nigeria's Dickson Etuhu have all been critical of the Jabulani. "It's the worst ball ever," Etuhu told the BBC. "You can't head it [from goalkeeper's kicks], you don't know where it's going to go. If you pass the ball into a player's feet, if it's off the ground, you don't know where it's going to go. It's the worst thing they could have done. It's so hard to play with."

  7. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson  

    Via Twitter: "It's even a bit chilly in Jo'burg today. SA guy at hotel tells me 'I've never been colder'. Reckon I could raise him 90% of my days on earth."

  8. 09:42 Commentary  

    England are out training and BBC Sport's Phil McNulty reports that Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole have returned to the fold after having a rest yesterday. Only Ledley King is missing.

  9. SMS  

    From Jake: "Very excited to see ex-AFC Wimbledon striker Shane Smeltz play today, let's hope he can follow in wombles legend Robbie Earle's footsteps by scoring at a World Cup."
    Smeltz getting a lot of love this morning...

  10. Twitter  

    From BBC Sport's Simon Austin: "Beckenbauer is right. Tord Grip told me Eriksson had played passing footie with Lazio etc but England's players not technically good enough."

  11. 606  

    From bhastings316: "Group G isn't really a group of death. Ivory Coast without Drogba will be no real threat and even with him Brazil and Portugal will have enough to beat. North Korea will get hammered by all."

  12. 09:54 Commentary  

    Hate to keep going on about Rob Green... But it's only just come to my attention that the clever people who create replays of famous football moments with Lego are doing World Cup highlights. Hurrah. Not great news for poor old Rob though. The South Africa-Mexico one's pretty entertaining too, especially the goal celebration (watch from about 1:15)

  13. 10:03 Commentary  

    It's not been a great tournament for goalkeepers so far (Nigeria's Vincent Enyeama aside). Algeria's Faouzi Chaouchi dropped a clanger to gift Slovenia victory on Sunday, and last night flappy-hands Paraguay keeper Justo Villar saved Italy's blushes by missing a cross, allowing Daniele de Rossi to tap in. Added to that, Italy's Gianluigi Buffon came off at half-time with a back problem.

  14. Contributor BBC Sport's James Pearce  

    Via Twitter: "Here's a treat for you. A look behind the scenes at England training."

  15. 10:14 Commentary  

    Italy's Buffon is quoted as saying he'll be fit again in "two days". Algeria coach Rabah Saadane insists he still has faith in Chaouchi. It just remains to be seen whether Capello still believes in Green. "England are a superb team," said Saadane yesterday. "I put them among my favourites. There will be very little change against them in terms of personnel, maybe one or two."

  16. Contributor BBC World Service's Richard Connelly  

    Via Twitter: "We want world's best players to dazzle us with their skills at World Cup What’s happening? Why not give them ball they'll use years in advance? Naive?"

  17. 10:18 Commentary  

    It's 1018 BST, let's move on to today's games and the breaking news is that Ivory Coast talisman Didier Drogba has been given permission to play with a cast on his fractured arm.

  18. SMS  

    From Draper in Belfast: "To Brent the Kiwi [see above 0930 entry]. Martin Skrtel will have Sugafoot in his pocket. All Whites to crash and burn."

  19. 10:27 Commentary  

    Good news for Sven-Goran Eriksson then, with the news that Didier Drogba could yet play against Portugal despite his busted arm. The Swedish job-magnet only took over as Ivory Coast manager in March and has presided over two friendlies before today. "It is a short period of time, that is a fact," Eriksson told BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher yesterday. "But I am very confident. The players are working very hard and I am looking forward to the tournament."

  20. Contributor BBC Sport's Dan Walker  

    Via Twitter: "Port Elizabeth is freezing. Too cold for Marcel Desailly who left the hotel for only 30 seconds. Biting wind."

  21. 10:36 Commentary  

    Some will tell you World Cups only really begin when the Brazilians come to the party, but the days of Joga Bonito appear to be long gone. Brazil coach Dunga spent much of his press conference yesterday defending the pragmatism he has brought to the 2010 squad. “The criticism is always that we are a defensive team, but we’ve scored over 100 goals so must be somewhat creative,” said the 1994 World Cup-winning captain. “We’ve only conceded 30 goals so are a very balanced team. You guys say I’m a difficult character, but you criticise me for 24 hours and I can only criticise you for one second. You attack me from morning to evening, but if I answer, you tell me I’m out of line. If I speak out of turn, you tell me I am bitter."

  22. 10:45 Commentary  

    Dunga's outburst aside, the best news to come out of the Brazil camp is that Felipe Melo named his son after 1986 Golden Boot winner - and famous wearer of a cast on his arm - Gary Lineker. "I find it very beautiful, different... and an honour," said the defensive midfielder. "He was a great player, a big name in the national team of England and in the history of the English national team." It can't have been only me that was a bit disappointed to learn he called his son Lineker, not Gary.

  23. SMS  

    From Ed in London:"Re 0954: Has anyone asked the Lego players their view of the Jabulani ball? I've watched the England-USA Lego highlights five times and can't see any evidence of the ball moving in the air before Rob Green spills it..."

  24. 10:55 Commentary  

    Cristiano Ronaldo gets a chance to show what he can do with a Jabulani in today's 1500 BST kick-off against Ivory Coast. However, the 25-year-old failed to score in Portugal's stuttering qualification campaign. Is he worried? Of course he's not. This is Cristiano Ronaldo we're talking about... "I want to explode at this World Cup. I am saving all my goals for this tournament. It would be fantastic if I could be the top scorer and the best player at the World Cup."

  25. Contributor BBC World Service's Farayi Mungazi  

    Via Twitter: "We know everything about Brazil, we know nothing about North Korea. Can't wait!"

  26. 606  

    From 606commentator: "I've been looking forward to this game for months. It isn't just the highlight of the tournament for me, but also the highlight of my summer. C'mon you Kiwis!"

  27. 11:09 Commentary  

    New Zealand are preparing for their second World Cup, after losing all three games on their debut in 1982. The All Whites lost to Mexico, Australia, Slovenia and Chile in their warm-ups, but they did beat Serbia 1-0. Captain Ryan Nelsen is nonetheless excited. "It's amazing for us. We have felt the support back in New Zealand. We don't usually get this publicity and support. It's humbling and really exciting. We will be making sure we make every New Zealander proud."

  28. 11:17 Commentary  

    Remember I told you Felipe Melo named his son Lineker, after the BBC presenter (and former England striker) of the same name. Here's Gary's reaction: "I am extremely flattered, albeit mildly embarrassed. Surely with the array of talent within the Brazilian team, he could have named him after someone other than a goal hanger like me!"

  29. 11:24 Commentary  

    New Zealand's opponents Slovakia could include Man City youngster Vladimir Weiss Jr in their starting line-up, the son of coach Vladimir Weiss, who is the son of former Czechoslovakia international... Vladimir Weiss Sr. Obviously. "He is a very clever boy but it is not easy for him because his coach is his father," said Vladimir Weiss No. 2 (the coach, the father, you know the one) "And he is not an easy player to coach, but I am sure he will show an excellent performance and will help his team. We are all full of expectation."

  30. SMS  

    From Jan, an excited Kiwi at her office in Canary Wharf: "Morning Cheesy. Come on the Kiwis! It's been 28 long years. We've got nothing to lose and we'll hopefully give the Slovaks a run for their money. I've booked the boardroom out for two hours from 12.30, bring it on!!"

  31. 11:29 Commentary  

    OK, it's Jonathan Stevenson time. He'll no doubt have some 'predos' for your entertainment. I'll bet he's fuming I've stolen his Vladimir Weiss chat too... See you soon maybe.

  32. 11:32 Commentary  

    After that perfect start to the day, it’s back to South Africa we go where, in less than an hour, New Zealand and Slovakia will get their Group F campaigns under way. I’m Jonathan Stevenson in Johannesburg and you’re very welcome indeed.

  33. 11:36 Commentary  

    Fuming? Me? Caroline Cheese must have the wrong person… Anyway, refresh your page and we’re good to go. Now then, what a day we have in store. At 1230 BST it’s the All Whites v the Repre, at 1600 BST it’s the Elephants v Seleccao das Quinas and finally, at 1930 BST, we’ve got the Samba Kings v the Chollima. Are you still with me?

  34. 11:41 Commentary  

    I hope so. Anyway, how are you on day five? I’ll bring you NZ-Slovakia and then Chris Bevan will present Ivory Coast-Portugal and Brazil-North Korea as I attend the intriguing tie from Ellis Park this evening. Hit me your thoughts, but save some chat for later too - it's a marathon, not a sprint: Tweet me @Stevo_football; text me on 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); and waffle away on the 606 page too.

  35. 11:42 Commentary New Zealand v Slovakia line-ups:  

    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.
    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.
    Referee: Jerome Damon (South Africa)

  36. Twitter  

    From shimmysmit: "My predictions for today: NZ 0-0 SLO, CIV 1-2 POR, BRA 2-0 NKO. Now how horrendously wrong can I be...?"

    In my experience mate, the sky's the limit.

  37. 11:50 Commentary  

    If you’re very, very busy, you might only have 60 seconds to find out what happened in the World Cup on Monday. Here’s my quick summary of events: Netherlands turned into Germany; Japan are motoring and Italy gave England some respite. Done.

  38. 606  

    From CorazonLatino: "I am honestly looking forward to the New Zealand v Slovakia game. I wasn't even born the last time New Zealand played in a World Cup! Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this also Slovakia's World Cup debut? It's refreshing to have different teams qualifying and getting the chance to show the world what they can do."

  39. 11:58 Commentary  

    Chris Bevan has been a busy boy. Not content with writing a blog on the ageing Italian team and their less-than-convincing start to the World Cup, he also managed to grab a word with the legendary Clarence Seedorf on the Netherlands' opening 2-0 win over Denmark. "We need more flair," might be the headline from the BBC pundit.

  40. 12:00 Commentary Stevo's Predos:  

    New Zealand 0-2 Slovakia
    Ivory Coast 1-1 Portugal
    Brazil 4-1 North Korea

  41. 12:04 Commentary New Zealand v Slovakia team news  

    New Zealand are without midfielder Tim Brown, so 33-year-old Ivan Vicelich steps in. Middlesbrough’s Chris Killen, Ipswich’s Tommy Smith, Plymouth’s Rory Fallon, and Blackburn’s Ryan Nelsen are all in the side.

    Slovakia stars Martin Skrtel and captain Marek Hamsik are in the starting XI after injuries. Liverpool defender Skrtel has recovered from an ankle injury he suffered in the warm-up game against Costa Rica, while tattooed Napoli playmaker Hamsik, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League, hasn’t played since May because of a muscle injury. Robert Vittek gets the nod up front, leaving Miroslav Stoch and Filip Holosko on the bench.

  42. SMS  

    Rich in Sussex: "A mate of mine has a £2 on Stanislav Sestak to win the Golden Boot - £978 profit if he does. I reckon he's gonna need to score about three or four today to have a chance! Go on, son!"

  43. 12:11 Commentary  

    New Zealand have been at the World Cup once before of course, in 1982 when they were spanked 5-2 by Scotland, 3-0 by Soviet Union and 4-0 by that magical Brazilian side. In the All Whites side was a young defender named Ricki Herbert (definitely not Rickie Lambert), who is now the national team manager: “It's been a long time hasn't it?” said Herbert this week. “It’s taken 28 years for a chance to try and change something. Yeah, I’ve still got Socrates’ shirt. Hopefully he’s still got mine.”

  44. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "At the end of the day, this is the World Cup. New Zealand have won their group and they have a right to be here. The chances are they won't get a result today, but let's not downplay it - they deserve this chance. It's not their fault which group they're in. If it's not very good, that's up to Fifa."

  45. 12:16 Commentary  

    South African referee Jerome Damon takes charge of this game, the only homegrown whistler at the World Cup. He'll be hoping to avoid any Ivory Coast games after telling the Mirror last week: "At a game between the Ivory Coast and Sudan in 2005, I was not well positioned and Didier Drogba took a shot at goal and the ball struck me in my family jewels. I just smiled and continued, although I was in great pain. I just told myself that whatever I do, I wouldn’t fall down.”

  46. 12:19 Commentary  

    Slovakia might be at the World Cup finals for the first time as an independent nation, but they have some very fine players for us to look forward to watching today. Napoli playmaker Marek Hamsik is one of them, and he captains the side today on the brink of snubbing Europe’s big boys and signing a new contract at Napoli in Serie A. "I'm very happy the Napoli president is content with me and values me,” said a humble Hamsik.

  47. 12:21 Commentary  

    On BBC telly, Lee Dixon has just done a short tactical analysis piece on Scotland's 5-2 win over New Zealand at the 1982 World Cup. For some reason, with Alan Hansen - who was playing that day - sat next to him, he chose to focus on the two All White goals and a woeful long-range shot from the Scots' number five. Quality.

  48. Twitter  

    From Dave_Lockyer: "Wonder if New Zealand will do the Haka before kick-off. Now that would be worth switching the TV on for."

  49. 12:25 IT'S SUNNY  

    The teams are out at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, which means shortly I get to feast upon two more national anthems. Bright sunshine greeets the two teams.

  50. 12:27 Commentary  

    If you want to know what it means to play for your country at the World Cup, check out skipper Ryan Nelsen during the NZ anthem. Real emotion.

  51. 12:30 KICK-OFF  

    Ryan Nelsen and Marek Hamsik shake hands and exchange pennants and soon after South African referee Jerome Damon gets the 12th match of the World Cup under way.

  52. 2 mins Commentary  

    Great quote from Ryan Nelsen on BBC Radio 5 live in the build-up to this one: "It will be an incredible upset if we win. We can't live in the clouds. It's a big event - for a little country like New Zealand we punch above our weight. On our good day and if they have a bad day, we can beat anyone."

  53. 3 mins Commentary  

    The first shot on goal comes from the All Whites as Chris Killen bundles his way past a couple of challenges and loops a harmless 25-yard shot over Jan Mucha's crossbar.

  54. 5 mins Commentary  

    That's a real chance that - for New Zealand. A free-kick is whipped in from their left and Chris Killen gets up well at the back post only to head straight at Jan Mucha from close range.

  55. SMS  

    Doug in Gold Coast, Australia: "Smeltz to bag a double for the Kiwis today. The big man has been on fire this season."

  56. 8 mins Commentary  

    Slovakia get Marek Hamsik on the ball and he almost threads a pass through to Robert Vittek, but the striker cannot quite reach it in time. Be interesting to see what influence the much-talked-about Hamsik can have on this game.

  57. 10 mins Commentary  

    It's pretty obvious what New Zealands's plan is - get the ball wide and get crosses into the box, and my word they've sent a few dangerous balls into that mixer already. Slovakia's defence, marshalled by Martin Skrtel, are so far keeping them out.

  58. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "Slovakia need to up their game if they are going to cause some problems."

  59. 12 mins Commentary  

    Maybe the World Cup isn't so easy to predict - it's all New Zealand in Rustenburg. Seriously, this is most unexpected.

  60. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    On Twitter: "Interesting weather news for England-Algeria here in Cape Town on Friday night - we've been warned to expect SNOW. So don't wear shorts."

  61. 16 mins Commentary  

    It hasn't quite got going yet, this one - but New Zealand's defence does look a little shaky when Slovakia manage to venture forward. Two good catches for NZ keeper Mark Paston should do his confidence some good early on.

  62. 19 mins Commentary  

    Stadiumcheck: There are plenty of empty seats in Rustenburg, which, again, is a real shame for a World Cup contest. I feel sorry for the players personally, in games which are the pinnacle of their careers.

  63. 606  

    From Odannyboy: "If anyone had told me a few years ago when Rory Fallon was upfront for Barnsley (he made Emile Heskey look like Geoff Hurst) that he would be leading the line for a World Cup team, I would have offered them odds of 400,000,000,000/1, and gladly let them have my house (including the cat and missus)."

  64. 22 mins Commentary  

    Slovakia attack down their left and after the ball finds its way into the area for Marek Hamsik, the 22-year-old curls an ambitious right-foot shot a few yards wide of the far post. Clearly a confident boy.

  65. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "It's slow and very difficult to talk up the game. There is no pace to the game. It really is a poor game."

  66. Twitter  

    From thevuvuzelahorn: "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ."

  67. 28 mins Commentary  

    Finally, an injection of quality - and it comes from Slovakia's Vladimir Weiss. He plays a couple of nice one-twos as he bursts forward to the edge of the NZ box and after slipping in Stanislav Sestak, the striker fires narrowly wide.

  68. 32 mins Commentary  

    If you fancy livening up proceedings from Rustenburg, you could always listen to Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles' commentary on events from the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. Chris Killen shoots harmlessly wide from 30 yards, nothing doing at all.

  69. 34 mins Commentary  

    NZ keeper Mark Paston has a shocker there, completely mis-kicking a left-footed clearance - but Robert Vittek cannot capitalise and after the All Whites concede a corner, the danger is cleared.

  70. Contributor BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese:  

    On Twitter: "If it does snow for Eng v Alg will they have an orange Jabulani ball?"

  71. 36 mins Commentary  

    Robert Vittek only has one thing on his mind when he gets into the final third - to shoot. He lets fly from 25 yards with his left foot, but it's comfortably wide again of Mark Paston's left-hand post. "Should be hitting the target from there," says BBC pundit Martin Keown.

  72. 38 mins Commentary  

    Top-class save, but the ref didn't see it. Rory Fallon flicks a ball through to Shane Smeltz on the left-hand side of the area and his well-struck left-foot effort is tipped away brilliantly by Jan Mucha. Goalkick given.

  73. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown  

    "I know there's a heavy wind, but these players should be adjusting to it, it's been a poor game so far. We're looking for more quality than this."

  74. 42 mins YELLOW CARD  

    First yellow card of the afternoon goes to New Zealand's Tony Lochhead for a naughty challenge on Erik Jendrisek. From the resulting free-kick, Marek Hamsik's 25-yard shot forces Mark Paston to tip over.

  75. 45 mins INJURY TIME  

    Mark Paston goes way out of his goal to punch a Zdenko Strba free-kick clear and he only just manages to make contact. He's decided to be decisive, the NZ keeper, but he's coming a long way to do that. Into a minute of added-on time in the first half.

  76. 13:16 HALF-TIME New Zealand 0-0 Slovakia  

    Do you think this World Cup could actually make us fond of goalless draws? Something to ponder for the next 15 minutes, anyway.

  77. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "New Zealand have been excellent. With the team they've got on paper you'd think they have no chance, but they work really hard for each other and they are organised and when they counter-attack they have been a threat. Slovakia have been awful."

  78. 606  

    From IsaacKipkoech: "Vladimir Weiss has played well for Slovakia... he clearly listens to his dad."

  79. Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Bright  

    On Twitter: "The World Cup starts today people, yes it's time for Brazil. The blue-and-gold army everywhere in Jo'Burg. North Korea are the opposition."

  80. SMS  

    From Andrew, Leeds: "They should make the whole thing knockout from the first game like the FA Cup with all the teams in a hat and the luck of draw. That would liven it up a tadge."

  81. 13:31 Commentary  

    Back under way in Rustenburg as New Zealand take on Slovakia in Group F.

  82. Contributor BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton  

    "There isn't even a professional league in New Zealand - there is one professional team, Wellington Phoenix, and they play in the Australian league, so that gives you some idea of what they are up against."

  83. 48 mins Commentary  

    Slovakia's Vladimir Weiss has probably been their best player so far, but he's struggling to create things on his own - they need a performance from Marek Hamsik here and they aren't getting one right now.

  84. 50 mins GOAL New Zealand 0-1 Slovakia  

    That'll liven them up. It's a pretty simple goal for the Slovaks as Stanislav Sestak fires over a cross from their right and Robert Vittek takes advantage of some hesitancy from Winston Reid to expertly glance a header into the far corner.

  85. 52 mins Commentary  

    Replays show that Robert Vittek might well have been a fraction offside when that ball came in from the right, but it's too late now. What have New Zealand got to come back with?

  86. 55 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Second tackle from behind from the Slovakian number six Zdenko Strba on Simon Elliott and he is rightly shown a yellow card.

  87. 58 mins Commentary  

    Good pace and directness from Vladimir Weiss, who remains Slovakia's most potent creative threat - he sprints past one challenge down the right, but Tommy Smith does well to get back in and Mark Paston races off his line to gather.

  88. SMS  

    From Kev Rudd: "21 million Aussies are now relieved."

  89. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "I thought New Zealand would be a little more direct. They are not really disturbing the Slovakian defenders at the moment."

  90. 63 mins Commentary  

    New Zealand are dominating possession, but they aren't exactly bombarding the Slovakian defence right now. The Slovaks look dangerous on the break. Interesting.

  91. 64 mins Commentary  

    Stanislav Sestak does really well to control a high ball on the edge of the New Zealand box and after holding it up he tees up Marek Hamsik 20 yards out, only for the skipper to lean back and sky his shot miles over. Woeful.

  92. 606  

    From jamb23: "Stevo, did you just get a text from Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd?"

    Well I can't rule it out.

  93. 68 mins Commentary  

    Breaking news: Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba is named on the bench for their Group G contest against Portugal, which starts at 1500 BST.

  94. 69 mins Commentary  

    Good break from the Slovakians but they almost try to walk the ball in and from Stanislav Sestak's low ball into the box, Winston Reid does really well to slide in and avert the danger. Top defending.

  95. 72 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    New Zealand haul off striker Chris Killen and 18-year-old West Brom striker Chris Wood comes on in his place.

  96. Twitter  

    From notscientific: "I'm at an Aus uni and all the Aussies have been secretly praying for NZ to lose. Ambition: Better than NZ."

  97. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown  

    "The Slovakian midfield have been getting stuck in a bit more in the last few minutes, they are making it harder for New Zealand to keep the ball."

  98. 77 mins Commentary  

    Slovakia do look comfortable, but 1-0 is a very slender lead to look comfortable on. Stanislav Sestak has had a pretty decent game for the Slovaks, but he takes a touch too long to get a shot in and the All Whites get the ball clear.

  99. 78 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Another change for New Zealand, with Jeremy Christie on for Ivan Vicelich.

  100. 79 mins Commentary  

    Rory Fallon tries his luck from 22 yards, but the ball balloons comfortably over Jan Mucha's crossbar. Ricki Herbert's team are running out of time in Rustenburg.

  101. 81 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Stanislav Sestak's decent afternoon's work comes to an end, with Slovakia throwing on Filip Holosko for the last few minutes.

  102. 84 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    These changes are breaking the game up perfectly for Slovakia - shame, though. Goalscorer Robert Vittek is taken off and gets a hug from his manager as Chelsea's Miroslav Stoch comes on in his place.

  103. SMS  

    From Jon, London: "I'm either really really bored at work or this game hasn't been too bad!"

  104. 88 mins Commentary  

    That might be New Zealand's last chance. Tony Lochhead fires over a great cross from their left, but Shane Smeltz gets his header all wrong from eight yards and it flies well wide.

  105. 90 mins INJURY TIME  

    We're into injury time at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg and Slovakia almost have their first win at a World Cup.

  106. 90 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Juraj Kucka comes on for Vladimir Weiss for Slovakia.

  107. 93 mins GOAL New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia  

    Well that was unexpected. With 30 seconds left in the game, New Zealand pump a cross into the Slovakia box and Winston Reid heads in from eight yards. He takes his shirt off to celebrate wildly with his team-mates and what a story has unfolded in Rustenburg.

  108. 14:21 FULL-TIME New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia  

    Bet you don't think the World Cup's boring now, do you? It's level pegging in Group F - I'm off to Ellis Park now for Brazil v North Korea this evening, so enjoy the rest of Day Five. What a great story to start us off.

By Caroline Cheese

Winston Reid headed a dramatic injury-time equaliser against Slovakia to earn New Zealand their first ever World Cup point.

Slovakia were on course for a perfect start in their debut World Cup as an independent nation after Robert Vittek's 50th-minute header.

But Vladimir Weiss's side paid for sitting back on their lead when, in the third minute of injury time, Reid rose to head home Shane Smeltz's left-wing cross.

The result in Rustenburg leaves all four teams in Group F on a point each after Italy's draw with Paraguay on Monday.

Perhaps more importantly for the Kiwis, though, it breaks their World Cup duck.

New Zealand's only other appearance in a World Cup finals was in 1982 when they lost to Scotland (5-2), Soviet Union (3-0) and Brazil (4-0).

Their warm-up matches were hardly encouraging either, with a 1-0 win over Serbia the highlight among defeats by Slovenia, Australia and Mexico.

However, defender Ryan Nelsen promised his team would "make every New Zealander proud" and they were true to the Blackburn defender's word at a far-from-full Bafokeng Stadium.

Middlesbrough striker Chris Killen threatened twice within the first five minutes, first with a long-range effort which flew well over and then with a header, which goalkeeper Jan Mucha gathered at the second attempt.

Slovakia's main threat in the first half, such as it was, was provided by 20-year-old Manchester City winger Vladimir Weiss, as the much-vaunted Napoli playmaker Marek Hamsik struggled to impose himself.

Weiss's trickery on the left set up chances for Hamsik, who bent an ambitious shot wide, and Stanislav Sestak, who fired narrowly wide.

Slovakia's best chance of a breakthrough, though, came through New Zealand's nervy keeper Mark Paston.

The Wellington Phoenix player embarrassingly miscued a clearance, gifting Vittek a difficult chance, and was fortunate to see one of his defenders clear when he failed to collect a header across the box.

Paston partly redeemed himself with a smart tip-over from Hamsik's long-range effort shortly before half-time, but within five minutes of the restart, he was beaten.

Slovakia finally found a good delivery from Sestak on the right, the Bochum winger whipping a cross in from deep for Vittek to plant a perfect header into the bottom corner.

New Zealand were rocked, but Slovakia, while looking comfortable in defence, did not seem desperate to press home their superiority.

Their attitude was summed up when more good work from Sestak gave Vittek a chance to wrap it up, but the striker appeared to delay too long, allowing Reid to slide in with an excellent tackle.

And it was Reid who was the New Zealand hero at the other end.

The Kiwis had hardly threatened in the second half, but they saved their best two chances for the dying minutes.

Smeltz, the former Mansfield, AFC Wimbledon and Halifax striker, headed wide from a tempting Tony Lockhead cross before he set up an unlikely equaliser, delivering a perfect ball from the left for Reid to head past Mucha.

The FC Midtjylland defender ripped off his shirt and swung it around his head, prompting the inevitable booking from the referee, but that mattered little as he celebrated a historic goal for his country.

A first World Cup win may prove harder to come by: New Zealand face Italy in their next game on Sunday, when Slovakia will look to make amends against Paraguay.

New Zealand New Zealand Flag 1-1 Slovakia Flag Slovakia FT

(HT 0-0)

Reid, 90+3
Vittek, 50

New Zealand

Slovakia

 

Substitutes:

Substitutes:

  • Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium
  • Referee: Jerome Damon
  • Attendance: 23,871
New Zealand     Slovakia
  • Possession 42%
    58%
  • Attempts on target 3
    3
  • Attempts off target 6
    6
  • Corners 3
    10
  • Fouls 16
    14

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

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