Parity for New Zealand, El Salvador
New Zealand began their final preparations for next week’s OFC Nations Cup with a 2-2 draw against El Salvador in Houston on Wednesday.
An inexperienced New Zealand line-up twice pegged back the central Americans to earn a share of the spoils in an entertaining encounter.
Debutant Ian Hogg and Kosta Barbarouses netted their first international goals midway through each half to cancel out an early goal from Rafael Burgos, and then a Michael Boxall own goal.
It was a day of milestones for the All Whites with teenager Cameron Howieson also debuting while Tommy Smith, at 22 years of age, became the nation’s youngest captain.
New Zealand will now face Honduras in Dallas on Saturday, before heading to the Solomon Islands for the eight-nation OFC Nations Cup. The top four teams will progress to the third and final stage of 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying with the victor to represent Oceania at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
El Salvador will commence their CONCACAF Round Three qualifiers on 8 June in Costa Rica, before a home meeting with Mexico four days later.