New Zealand beat Chinese Taipei 1-0 in Intercontinental Cup

A solitary goal by Myer Bevan was enough for New Zealand to overcome Chinese Taipei in Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai.
New Zealand kept their hopes alive in Intercontinental Cup with a 1-0 win over Chinese Taipei.(Twitter)
New Zealand kept their hopes alive in Intercontinental Cup with a 1-0 win over Chinese Taipei.(Twitter)
Updated on Jun 05, 2018 10:47 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | BySarthak Bal

Looking to secure their first points in the Intercontinental Cup, New Zealand beat Chinese Taipei by the only goal, giving them a much needed boost before they take on hosts India on Thursday.

A Myer Bevan penalty in the first half sealed the game for the All Whites keeping their hopes of making the final on Sunday, alive. They controlled midfield with their quick passing from the off and were certainly the more dominant side in the first half.

Youngster Sarpreet Singh, of Indian origin, like in their previous outing against Kenya, was New Zealand’s best player with some determined runs on the right flank.

Kiwi striker Bevan had two great chances before finally getting the goal. The first came after he got behind the defence to tee up a shot but Ruei Wang came across to pull off a brilliant sliding tackle and disposes the 23-year-old.

The second came from a teasing cross by Sarpreet, that found Bevan just ten minutes later. But the headed effort lacked power and allowed goalkeeper Wen Chieh Pan to collect the ball easily.

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Bevan got his chance at redemption after a through ball had put Henry Cameron free on goal with just the goalkeeper to beat. The No 8 tried to prod the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs but it failed.

A second attempt was blocked but the ball fell kindly to Sarpreet, who in his attempt to take the ball wide, was brought down by Tzu Kuei Hung prompting the referee to point to the spot. Making up for a couple failed efforts, Bevan stepped up to slot the ball into the right corner, sending Pan the wrong way.

Chinese Taipei’s best chance came only in the fourth minute of added time. Hao Wei Chen brought down a free kick to lay the ball off for defender Ting Yang Chen, whose powerful shot forced Nikola Tzanev into making a good save.

The weather had already begun to wear New Zealand down, who conceded a one- goal lead against Kenya in favourable rainy conditions on Saturday. It was poised to be a tough half for both sides.

But just ten minutes after restart New Zealand had their first chance. Bevan laid the ball off to Sarpreet in the box, but the winger’s attempted shot at goal was brilliantly thwarted by captain Wei-Chuan Chen’s sliding tackle.

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Chinese Taipei tried to pull one back through forward Hao-Wei Chen. Chen was set through on goal but some pressure from the Kiwi backline forced him to shoot off target.

Chinese Taipei’s defenders put on a brave performance but were let down in the final third, conceding any chances of making the final. They must now prepare for a stern test against Kenya on Friday, still looking for their first goal in the competition.

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