The All Whites have been knocked out of the HERO Intercontinental Cup in India after Kenya defeated Chinese Taipei 4-0 tonight to advance on goal difference.
The New Zealand side, who were so impressive in their 2-1 win over hosts India last night, watched the match as a team which Kenya required a win of three goals or more to stay in the tournament.
They achieved that with Odhiambo Dennis, Jockins Atudo (2) and Timothy Otieno all finding the back of the net in the second half to book Kenya’s place in the final against India on Sunday 10 June.
Kenya finished on six points tied with India and New Zealand, but with a superior goal difference of +2 the All Whites (+1).
All Whites captain Thomas Doyle said it was disappointing to miss out on the final by such a small margin.
“It is really disappointing, but I guess we can only look back at our performances and it comes back to that first game we played against Kenya [lost 2-1],” said the 25-year-old. “Obviously it wasn’t the performance that we wanted and we progressed throughout the tournament, there are a positives to reflect on but that first game has come back to affect us not making the final.”
Doyle said this young and inexperienced All Whites team has shown a huge amount of character in a tough place to tour against difficult opposition.
“There have been some young guys come through and make their debuts, some guys score their first goals for the national team. We weren’t expected to do much by the people back home because we have a young squad but there is a lot of class and quality in those players and they showed it in this tournament.”