Fri, May 25, 2012 - Page 18 News List

New Zealand draw 2-2 in friendly with El Salvador

AP, HOUSTON, TEXAS

Kosta Barbarouses scored in the 64th minute to lift New Zealand to a 2-2 draw with El Salvador in a friendly on Wednesday.

Rafael Burgos had twice put El Salvador ahead. His opener came in the 13th minute when he lobbed the goalkeeper from outside the penalty area.

Defender Ian Hogg equalized for the All Whites in the 28th minute, playing a one-two before driving a shot past the goalkeeper.

Burgos added a second in the 56th with a shot that went off New Zealand defender Michael Boxall’s knee and inside the far post.

Russia-based Barbarouses pounced on a rebound off Shane Smeltz’s saved shot and floated a shot into the right of the net.

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert was pleased with what he saw from his team.

“We got a number of senior players that aren’t here,” Hebert said. “Right now it’s just about building that depth and building that quality. We had more shots on goal tonight and came back twice against a quality team.”

El Salvador coach Ruben Israel said his team is also incorporating new faces and struggled to break down New Zealand’s defense.

“New Zealand defended the whole field with all 11 players, and did not give us space to create more plays,” he said.

Israel gave credit to Nelson Wilfredo Bonilla Sanchez, who was playing with the national team for the first time, for helping to create opportunities for Burgos.

El Salvador face Moldova tomorrow in Dallas and start the semi-final round of World Cup qualifying on June 8 against Costa Rica in a CONCACAF Group B match in San Jose, Costa Rica.

New Zealand take on Honduras in another friendly tomorrow in Dallas and face Fiji on June 2 in an Oceania Group B match in the Solomon Islands.

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