All Whites beaten in performance full of pride
The All Whites have been beaten 1-0 by Austtralia in London but it is likely that Frank Farina is the more concerned of the two coaches heading away from Craven Cottage.
It took an 85th minute goal to separate the two sides in a typically robust and free flowing encounter played in front of an enthusiastic 12,000 crowd. While Australia had the better of the match overall, the All Whites created their own opportunities and but for poor finishing and good goalkeeping, could well have troubled the scorers.
All Whites Head Coach Ricki Herbert showed faith in young and inexperienced talent when senior players became unavailable for a variety of reasons. Those senior players might well be first on the plane next time international duty comes calling, such was the impact the likes of debutant Adrian Webster, David Mulligan, Tim Brown and Brent Fisher made.
Herbert was disappointed with the result but delighted with the performance and the 4 days in camp.
“I am disappointed for my players and the management team that we didn’t hold on tonight, Herbert said post match. “But most importantly I am proud of the way the players young and old came together, worked together and fought together against the odds. Some thought we would get hammered tonight, we never thought that. The belief in this squad and the attitude shown during our 6 training sessions and time together this week has been superb, it is one of the proudest moments of my career as a player and coach the way we have approached our task this week. Tonight was about a show of faith in the future of our game and young players who I believe can go on to bigger things in their club and international careers. With the right guidance, coaching and commitment from them all, we might just be on to something.”
Herbert went on to suggest most, if not quite all targets had been met.
“Probably 9 out of 10 in terms of what we set out to do in the limited time available. The result didn’t quite go our way. People must understand the long term implications of a match such as this. Tonight we introduced Adrian Webster to people back home and no doubt a few scouts watching at the game. Dave Mulligan was given the confidence to play in his preferred midfield role and Jeremy Christie debuted in the final few minutes. The senior players led superbly, Danny Hay showed what we have missed with a great captain’s performance and Che Bunce, Vaughan Coveny and Mark Paston got better as the night wore on.”
The side played with pride, commitment and passion that was clearly evident from the moment tears were shed during the national anthem to the to the final whistle.
The side will now spread across the globe to club sides or a well deserved break before awaiting news of the next international fixtures with news likely in the next week or so from New Zealand Soccer.
New Zealand 0
Crowd est: 12,000