Kiwis and Ticos share spoils
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Costa Rica were forced to come from behind to earn a draw against a hard-working New Zealand in the late Group D match in Enugu. The point was the first earned by New Zealand at this level since the 1999 tournament played on home soil. The Young All Whites stunned Costa Rica with a robust opening and were rewarded with a goal on 19 minutes from Michael Built. The Ticos replied with ten minutes of the first half remaining via the boot of willling striker Joel Campbell.

A promising start for the under-rated New Zealand resulted in a goal for Built who blasted home from near the penalty spot after striker Andrew Milne held the ball up while fending off several defenders. Rosbin Mayorga could have immediately pulled a goal back but blazed wide from close range. The striker then missed the opportunity to atone by again aiming too high minutes later with a more awkward opening.

Fellow striker Joel Campbell was not so profligate when presented with an opportunity in front of goal. A through ball saw two defenders collide allowing Campbell the opportunity to score with ease. Both teams gave as good as they got throughout the second period and while Costa Rica looked dangerous going forward, New Zealand too made a number of forays into the opposition penalty area, while also looking dangerous from set-pieces.

The intensity of the match varied little for much of the second half as the two teams sought three points. The most significant effort of the second stanza being a spectacular Dylan Flores drive which brought the best out of a flying Cory Turipa in the New Zealand goal. Tico captain Ariel Soto blazed wide with virtually the last kick of the match leaving the two teams with a well-deserved point.