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All Whites turn on polished performance against Republic of Ireland


New Zealand players celebrate after Matt Garbett scores a goal against Ireland. 2023.

A strong second half performance secured the All Whites a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland in an international football friendly in Dublin.

Ireland dominated the first half and scored in the 29th minute when New Zealand defender Nando Pijnaker brought the ball out just outside the penalty box and Adam Idah was able to slot the ball past keeper Max Crocombe.

New Zealand finished the first half strongly and then took the lead in the second 45 minutes.

After some nice interplay outside the penalty box Matt Garbett scored the equalizer in the 59th minute, firing a shot into the bottom left corner of the Irish goal.

Most of New Zealand’s attack was centered on midfielder Sarpreet Singh who also managed a few shots on goal.

Skipper Chris Wood had little chance to score and was replaced as soon as New Zealand scored.

Ireland were ranked 58th, 45 places higher than New Zealand, who recently lost to the Netherlands 1 nil in their European Championship qualifier at the weekend.

Whites midfielder Sarpreet Singh in action against the Republic of Ireland, 2023.

Whites midfielder Sarpreet Singh in action against the Republic of Ireland, 2023.

New Zealand made a number of changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Greece at the weekend, with Max Crocombe starting in goal and defenders Nando and Michael Boxall also starting.

It was also the 103rd international game and the last game for Ireland’s James McClean.

Former Republic of Ireland Keith Treacy thought New Zealand was the better of the two sides.

“We’re coming up against New Zealand who are ranked 103rd in the world and we haven’t been able to open them up,” he told RTE Radio.

“We (Ireland) scored a very lucky goal and they look like the better team.”

It was the seventh and final game of the year for the All Whites.

They scored one win, three draws and three losses.

New Zealand vs Republic of Ireland squad: Crocombe, Payne, Pijnaker, Boxall, Cacace, Bell, Garbett, Stamenic, Singh, McCowatt, Wood.

Art: Paulsen, Woud, Wilkins, Just, Champness, Smith, Surman, Greive, Bidon, Waine, Mata, Lewis.

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