How New Zealand Saved Italy

June 15, 2010 - 06040482 date 15 06 2010 Copyright imago Color Sports Football World Cup Finals 2010 New Zealand v Slovakia Winston Reid NZ Scores His Injury Time equalising Goal with A powerful Header 15 06 2010 @ Royal Bafokeng Credit Color Sports Andrew Cowie PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxPOLxUSAxONLY Football men World Cup National team international match Rustenburg Action shot Vdig 2010 horizontal premiumd.

The biggest “win” in New Zealand soccer history was also a major victory for the Italian national team. 

Slovakia was the better club for ninety minutes today, taking a 1-0 lead over New Zealand early in the second half on a goal by Robert Vittek.  The All Whites, who looked like a club playing in their first World Cup in decades, hung tough but could not find an equalizer until Shane Smeltz sent in a cross which Winston Reid headed past Jan Mucha in the third minute of stoppage time.  The draw was New Zealand’s first World Cup point ever and only their second point in a FIFA competition.

But more importantly for Azzurri fans, Group F is back to square one.  All four clubs have a point and are squared on goal difference and points scored.  While this raises the importance of every subsequent match – since any unseen tie or victory could be even more definitive – it also should be a relief for Italian fans everywhere.

Italy’s draw with Paraguay can generously be described as a poor performance.  You can read an excellent summary of the match here, but in short Lippi’s squad played as many detractors said they would play – slowly and uncreatively.  As Serie A fans know, the Azzurri have a wealth of talent and are a squad that can play with the best in the world.  Maybe Italy has joined clubs like England, the Netherlands, and Portugal as quality clubs that are off to slow starts.

But the draw today allows Italy to continue to control its own destiny over the next two matches.  If Slovakia would have won today, it would have been atop Group F and Italy may have depended on other results to see if it would advance.  Now Italy’s path to the next round looks a bit easier.  New Zealand looked pretty good against Slovakia but this squad’s goal was to earn a point before going home and building off of that for future tournaments.  An angry Italian team should gain a full three points from the All Whites, which would allow them to control their own destiny heading into the final match against Slovakia. 

And after yesterday’s performance, this may be the best thing they can ask for.

Which team had the best performance in the first Group F matches?


25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family


  1. Rami S. June 15, 2010
  2. joemaica June 17, 2010

Leave a Reply

Translate »