Thu, Jun 07, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan beaten 1-0 by New Zealand in Mumbai, India

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Chen Hao-wei, left, shoots against New Zealand in their Hero Intercontinental Cup match in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Football Association

Taiwan men’s national team patched up their defensive woes, but still came out on the losing end when New Zealand beat them 1-0 at the Hero Intercontinental Cup tournament in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday night.

The Kiwis scored the only goal of the game when Cameron Howeson dashed through the six-yard box 35 minutes into the game, but Taiwan goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh blocked the close-range shot. The loose ball got passed to fellow Kiwi midfielder Sarpreet Singh, who went down under a clumsy challenge by Taiwanese defender Hung Tzu-kuei.

The referee awarded a penalty to New Zealand and striker Myer Bevan hit the net for a one-goal advantage.

In the second half, Taiwan made attacking runs in search of the equalizer, with forward Chen Hao-wei threatening the Kiwi goal several times, but failing to convert.

New Zealand missed a chance to build up the lead about 10 minutes after halftime, with Singh firing a close-range shot that was blocked on the line.

Late in the game, the Kiwis appealed for another penalty when substitute Noah Billingsley was tackled inside the penalty area, but the referee waved for play to continue.

Taiwan had one final chance on a bullet header from a cross into the box, with it being on target for the net, but Kiwi goalkeeper Nikola Tzanev tipped it over the crossbar to preserve the shutout.

It was the second straight loss for Taiwan under English head coach Gary White, after the 5-0 crushing defeat to hosts India in the tournament’s opener on Friday last week.

White complained about the referee’s decisions after the game: “It was a great battle and to see my U-23 [boys] fight like that shows the great future of Chinese Taipei. The officiating was totally unfair and for the game to be decided on a penalty was frustrating. This is a friendly where everyone has to learn.”

Taiwan are seeking to get on the scoreboard when facing Kenya in their final game tomorrow, while India are aiming for three wins out of three, when they take on New Zealand today.

The top two teams from group stage, as Taiwan is out already with two losses, are to meet in the finale for the Hero Cup trophy on Sunday. All matches are scheduled for 8pm local time in India (10:30pm in Taiwan).

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