New Zealand suffered a heart breaking 1-0 defeat to Brazil in stoppage-time of the Round of 16 qualifier at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Brazil edged past a brave New Zealand side in Vina Del Mar and needed a stoppage-time penalty kick to win 1-0.
In the 94th minute Brazil surged down the left-flak and whipped the ball into the box. James McGarry lunging for possession toppled Henrique who collapsed shot gun and claimed the penalty. It was a fair foul, but an extravagant tumble made the challenge look worse than it was.
Henrique steeped forward and blasted the ball low-right into the net. Keeper Michael Woud anticipated the correct direction, but was unable to block the shot.
The first half was characterised by resilient New Zealand defence. Brazil without star Lincoln due to a red card from the previous game, enjoyed the majority of possession.
Woud made three key saves in the first half, denying Geovane and Luis Henrique on two separate occasions.
New Zealand were unable to get a single shot off in the first half, however, they were appealing for a penalty kick when Connor Probert was brought down in the area.
New Zealand had a heart-in-mouth moment early in the second half when Woud, who had been flawless during the match, left his penalty area to make a clearance, only for it land at the feet of Luis Henrique whose shot was drilled straight at the New Zealand defense and cleared.
Woud made a save at his near post in the 62nd minute after an extended period of Brazilian pressure on the New Zealand backline. And just when the momentum seemed to be on Brazil's side, Kleber conceded a penalty kick to New Zealand after tripping Lucas Imrie in the area. However it was heartbreak for New Zealand as McGarry missed the resulting penalty kick, blasting his shot over the crossbar. Unfortunately for McGarry that would not be the worst part of his day.
After enduring a couple of chances from New Zealand, Brazil continued to control the game and eventually broke down the stoic New Zealand defence.
Brazil outshot New Zealand 25-1. They had 69% of possession, six corners and attained 19 free kicks. New Zealand blocked 10 shots and forced 19 off target.
Captain Jack-Henry Sinclair led by example with his hustle and leadership.
Woud was outstanding and after the French disaster only conceded two goals in three games.
Connor Probert tried hard to engineer things on attack and was a part of a steady midfield defensive wall.
New Zealand can be well-pleased with their efforts at this tourney. The All Whites are currently ranked 148th in the world, their lowest ever ranking. The Under-23 Olympic qualifying tournament was a fiasco and questions surrounding the future of the Wellington Phoenix have meant a bad headlines for football recently
The Young All Whites guts has put New Zealand football back on the map.
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