A first international goal for striker Monty Patterson has seen the All Whites come from behind to draw 1-1 with the USA in an international friendly today at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.
The Anthony Hudson-coached side, who lost to World No. 15 Mexico 2-1 on Saturday night in Nashville, showed their marked improvement again as they outplayed their more fancied rivals for long periods of the match but could not convert that dominance on the scoresheet until the 72nd minute when Patterson found the back of the net.
As skipper Winston Reid said in the build-up, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and the All Whites took their game to yet another level as they looked to build for the next stage of Oceania qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which begin with an encounter against New Caledonia at QBE Stadium in Auckland on November 12.
For the first 20 minutes it was all the visitors. The All Whites almost scored in the opening minute when Chris Wood smashed a half volley on goal from just outside the box and USA goalkeeper William Yarbrough couldn’t hold on.
Patterson – who came into the starting line-up for Kosta Barbarouses in one of three changes, the other newcomers being Andrew Durante and Kip Colvey – was nearly onto the rebound to finish off for a dream start but the linesman’s flag was up.
Against the run of play, Jürgen Klinsmann’s side took the lead in the 27th minute courtesy of a great strike from outside the box from midfielder Julian Green which beat Stefan Marinovic at the near post.
After opening the scoring, the USA came back into the match and were the better of the two teams going into the break. The hosts had a golden opportunity to go 2-0 up in the 32nd minute when DeAndre Yedlin went one-on-one with Marinovic but this time the Kiwi custodian was up to the challenge and produced a fine save.
A number of other promising attacks for the USA were well contained by New Zealand with skipper Winston Reid superb again at the heart of the All Whites defence.
Like they did against Mexico, the Kiwis came firing out of the sheds after half-time. Hudson made two changes with Henry Cameron, who had been out for almost a year, making his long-awaited return to international football and Louis Fenton also coming as Marco Rojas and Liam Graham made way.
The new-look All Whites front line with Patterson partnering Wood created a number of half chances but they could not convert. Wood won a free kick in a dangerous position just before the hour but his effort was blazed high over the bar. Patterson finally had more than a half chance just seconds later when he was played into the box by a perfect pass from experienced midfielder Michael McGlinchey but the young Ipswich Town forward could not hit the target after the ball bobbled just as he struck it.
In the 68th minute, Wood had another sight of goal and really showed his class, bringing a cross from Patterson under control and volleying a superb effort narrowly over the bar.
Just when you thought it was going to be one of those nights for New Zealand, Patterson broke through with his first international goal. A Michael McGlinchey corner caused chaos at the near post for the USA and Michael Boxall made a nuisance of himself before Patterson prodded a shot home between the legs of substitute goalkeeper David Bingham, who had come on for Yarbrough at half-time.
The All Whites had never defeated the USA and they poured forward in numbers in the final 15 minutes to try to make history. They looked the more likely to win the match and put the hosts under all sorts of pressure but could not produce the moment of magic to upset a world-class side on their own patch.
Hudson was again delighted with the performance of his players and was pleased to see them back up so strongly after a similar display against Mexico.
“Up until the goal in the first half, I thought we were the better team,” he said.
“We lacked a bit of energy later on in the first half which was possibly the result of playing Mexico a few days ago. That was a really tough game and we worked really hard.”
Hudson felt the All Whites raised their intensity again in the second spell and could well have taken more than a draw out of the contest.
“In the second half, I think we were the team that really went to try and win the game. Overall, it was a really good performance and I think there’s some players who are a little bit disappointed we didn’t win the game. To come to the USA, play two games away from home and be disappointed we didn’t get wins is a huge credit to the team,” he said.
“We were unlucky not to get a draw against Mexico because I felt we were the better team and I thought the same tonight. We had a lot of chances and corner after corner at the end there. In two games on this tour, we’ve played against two very good teams and learned a lot about our squad. We’ve still got a long way to go but we’re certainly moving in the right direction.”
The All Whites leave Washington tomorrow morning and will regroup in early November in Auckland as they look to take their next steps on the ‘Road to Russia’.
USA 1 (Julian Green 27’)
New Zealand 1 (Monty Patterson 72’)
RFK Stadium, Washington D.C.
All Whites: 1. Stefan Marinovic (GK), 2. Winston Reid (c) (4. Themi Tzimopoulos 74’), 5. Michael Boxall, 6. Marco Rojas (20. Henry Cameron 46’, 7. Kosta Barbarouses 76’), 8. Michael McGlinchey, 9. Chris Wood, 13. Monty Patterson, 15. Clayton Lewis (16. Moses Dyer 66’) 18. Kip Colvey, 21. Liam Graham (14. Louis Fenton 46’), 22. Andrew Durante (17. Sam Brotherton 58’)
Caution: 13. Monty Patterson 84’
Substitutes not used: 10. Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, 11. Rory Fallon, 23. Tamati Williams (GK)
Coach: Anthony Hudson
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football