Intercontinental Cup: New Zealand edge past Chinese Taipei in drab affair
Myer Bevan's 36th minute penalty strike meant New Zealand continue to be in contention for the finals

New Zealand beat Chinese Taipei by a solitary goal in their Intercontinental Cup fixture at the Mumbai Football Arena on Tuesday. Myer Bevan struck the only goal of the match through a 36th minute spot-kick.

In the fourth fixture of the Intercontinental Cup, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand both lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Gary White made two changes to the Chinese Taipei side from the loss against hosts India while the All Whites saw six changes exercised by Fritz Schmid.

Breaking on the counter in the 13th minute, Chinese Taipei's Hao-Wei Chen made a run through the right flank. But, he released his shot too soon which resulted in Tzanev collecting it comfortably.

A minute later, New Zealand's Stefan Bevan broke into the opposition's defense but defender Ruei Wang's timely tackle inside the box prevented any futher danger. Bevan had another chance in the 23rd minute when he got to the end of a Sarpreet cross but his header was too weak for the target.

Bevan broke the deadlock eventually in the 36th minute from the spot after Sarpreet Singh was brought down by Tzu Kuei-Hung inside the box. Henry Cameron was released into the box by a quick through pass but the New Zealander failed to pull the trigger in time. The loose ball fell to Sarpreet who went down under a challenge by Tzu Kuei Hung, resulting in a penalty being awarded to the All Whites.  Bevan made no mistake from the spot as he sent the ball into the top right corner.

In the second half, the All Whites came close to doubling their lead when Sarpreet was released by goal-scorer Bevan. Moving in from the right-side, Bevan squared the ball for Sarpreet in the centre but his attempt failed to hit the mark. 

Chinese Taipei's No.10 Hao-Wei Chen had the opportunity to level up the score in the 69th minute when he was in a one-on-one scenario with the goalkeeper, but he blasted the delivery high into the air after charging forward.

The Asian contingent looked better in the second-half as they put up a strong fight against the opposition but a lack of finesse in the final third kept them away from finding the net. 

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As a result, the Kiwis walked off with the full points against the Asians and will next face Stephen Constantine's India side on June 7. 



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