New Zealand and Syria were left to settle for a point after an evenly-contested goalless draw at the Estadio Chinquihue in Puerto Montt in Group F of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015.
Both teams went into the match having suffered heavy defeats in their first matches of the tournament, so it was crucial for each side to start positively.
There's no doubt New Zealand will be ruing their missed opportunities from set pieces in the first half. The most notable chance came in just the third minute from the penalty spot, however Connor Probert was unable to convert the spot kick with his shot striking the upright. Syria had conceded the penalty after defender Wasim Al Nadaf handled the ball in the penalty area.
The game continued to be balanced in possession, but there would be a theme for New Zealand in the first half. On three occasions the Young Ferns missed chances directly from corner kicks with the best opportunity falling to Logan Rogerson who failed to find enough composure to tap a shot in from three yards out.
The second half felt like a completely different match from the first half, as Syria began pressing and showing their inventiveness in the final third, forcing saves from New Zealand goalkeeper and captain Michael Woud.
New Zealand did find it in themselves to respond to Syria's early threats in the second half. Lucas Imrie bursted into the penalty area with a great opportunity but Syria defended well, deflecting his shot wide for a corner kick. From the resulting corner, Liam Williams headed the ball which hit the ground and bounced just over the crossbar.
New Zealand continued to pile on the pressure near the end of the match but were unable to find the back of the net. Syria also had a great chance near the end forcing a superb save from Woud.
The two sides will play their final games in the group on Sunday 25 October with New Zealand taking on Paraguay and Syria facing France.