Storming finish earns All Whites deserved 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland

posted in: All Whites, News

A strong second half and a well-worked goal for Matt Garbett have earned New Zealand’s All Whites a 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland.

For the first third of the game, the home side had the better of the game, going ahead after clumsy play by the New Zealand rearguard.

But as the game wore on, the All Whites became the better of the two sides and deserved their draw, if not a win.

Main photo: Matt Garbett celebrates his equaliser for New Zealand.

Ireland dominated possession and territory in the game’s first quarter, building attacks mainly down the left flank with winger Mikey Johnston given rein to take on defenders, and cut inside.

By that stage, Ireland had 66% of the ball possession and their willingness to press high often forced New Zealand into making long clearances.

The home side took the lead in the 28th minute when New Zealand midfielder Joe Bell played a lazy ball crossfield that didn’t quite reach defender Nando Pijnaker before Ireland’s Mark Sykes and Adam Ifah saw their chances to put him under pressure.

Together, they robbed Pijnaker, leaving Idah with a relatively straightforward finish, sliding the ball past All Whites ‘keeper Max Crocombe.

Nando Pijnaker loses the ball to Ireland’s Mark Sykes who sets up Adam Idah (right) for his goal.

New Zealand created their first goal attempt in the 34th minute when Marko Stamenich struck from the edge of the area, and the ball was deflected wide of the net by striker Chris Wood.

Four minutes later, Sarpreet Singh curled a shot towards the top corner of the Irish net but ‘keeper Caoimhin Kelleher turned the ball around the post for a corner.

The New Zealanders made half-hearted appeals for a penalty when a Callum McCowatt cross appeared to make contact with Ireland’s Mark Sykes.

The two goal attempts appeared to trigger a switch in approach by both sides.

The All Whites seemed more confident going forward; the Irish backpedalled, apparently more willing to defend their lead than add to it.

The second half began with near-misses for both sides.

Garbett fired wide for New Zealand, and Wood was tackled when he had done well to get into the Irish box.

Jayson Molumby struck a fierce shot past the New Zealand post.

The All Whites levelled just before the hour mark when Sarpreet Singh and Tim Payne combined to set up Matt Garbett in space to shoot from just outside the penalty area.

His low drive sneaked inside the post, past substitute ‘keeper Mark Travers, for his third full international goal.

The All Whites defence holds firm as Ireland’s Matt Doherty fails to reach the ball.

In the 65th minute, McCowatt supplied Singh with the ball and his shot from 15 metres was turned wide by Travers.

A minute later, the game was held up as Ireland’s James McClean was subbed off, ending his international career on 103 caps. He received a standing ovation from the 46,000 crowd at Aviva Stadium.

New Zealand continued to keep Ireland under pressure and Liberato Cacace fired in two long-range shots to keep the hosts on notice that they could be breached.

Max Mata, who replaced Wood after 60 minutes, was put through by Singh and his shot was well saved by Travers.

In the 86th minute, Ireland had a rare second-half chance when substitute Evan Ferguson had his shot palmed clear by Crocombe, and Skykes skied the rebound.

New Zealand had the home side under the pump in the dying minutes and three minutes of stoppage time, forcing corners and free kicks as the Irish players clearly willed the final whistle to blow.

Substitute Tyler Bindon fired the last salvo for New Zealand; Ireland’s players looked relieved as his header missed the target.

A draw — and still, New Zealand wait for a win against a European team, last achieved in 2010 — but the All Whites can certainly claim a moral victory.

Post-match reaction

READ MORE: All Whites coach Darren Bazeley: ‘Not perfect, but we took a little step forward’ >>>>

READ MORE: Ireland manager Stephen Kenny: ‘It was a strange game, to say the least’ >>>>

Match highlights

Match stats

First half

Republic of Ireland / New Zealand

Possession: 54% / 46%
Shots: 6 / 6
Shots on target: 1 / 1
Passes: 246 / 218
Pass accuracy: 88% / 83%
Fouls committed: 4 / 7
Corners: 6 / 2
Offsides: 0 / 1

Full match

Republic of Ireland / New Zealand

Possession: 51% / 49%
Shots: 13 / 16
Shots on target: 4 / 5
Passes: 438 / 423
Pass accuracy: 86% / 83%
Fouls committed: 8 / 13
Corners: 9 / 7
Offsides: 0 / 2


Game played on Wednesday November 22, 2023 (NZT)
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, 8.45am (NZT)

Republic of Ireland 1 (Adam Idah 28′)
New Zealand 1 (Matt Garbett 59′)


Republic of Ireland

Caoimhin Kelleher (Mark Travers 46′), Matt Doherty (Alan Browne 73′), Shane Duffy (captain), Adam Idah Evan Ferguson 66′), James McClean (Ryan Manning 67′), Andrew Omobamidele, Mark Sykes, Jayson Molumby, Jason Knight (Josh Cullen 54′), Jamie McGrath, Mikey Johnston (Andrew Moran 79′)

Subs not used: Gavin Bazunu, Dara O’Shea, Callum Robinson, Liam Scales, Troy Parrott

The New Zealand starting line-up against Republic of Ireland. Photo credit: NZ Football.

New Zealand

Max Crocombe, Michael Boxall, Liberato Cacace, Tim Payne (Tyler Bindon 89′), Nando Pijnaker, Joe Bell, Matt Garbett (Clayton Lewis 82′), Marko Stamenic, Callum McCowatt (Eli Just 77′), Sarpreet Singh, Chris Wood (captain) (Max Mata 60′)

Subs not used: Michael Woud, Alex Paulsen, Dalton Wilkins, Tommy Smith, Finn Surman, Joe Champness, Alex Greive, Ben Waine


Referee: Urs Schnyder (Switzerland)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Zürcher (Switzerland)
Assistant Referee 2: Pascal Hirzel (Switzerland)
Fourth Official: Neil Doyle (Ireland)

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