It is the biggest result in New Zealand soccer history and a disappointing result for the defending World Cup champs. Italy was heavily favored at Internet gambling companies vs. New Zealand but the Kiwis shocked the world.
Online gambling odds are still in favor of Italy to advance to the knockout round but now they need to beat Slovakia in their final group match. New Zealand could also advance if they can defeat Paraguay. New Zealand and Italy both have two draws in their first two matches while Paraguay leads the Group F with four points.
New Zealand actually scored first against Italy as Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro gave away a goal to Shane Smeltz. New Zealand’s Simon Elliott sent in a long free kick that Cannavaro badly misplayed and Smeltz was right there to score for the Kiwis. It was the only shot that New Zealand got against Italy all day.
Italy controlled the match throughout. Riccardo Montolivo hit the post in the 27th minute and then Italy tied it when Vicenzo Iaquinta scored on the penalty kick. New Zealand’s Tommy Smith got a yellow card for pulling down Daniele De Rossi and Iaquinta converted the penalty. Italy had a number of other chances but New Zealand goalkeeper Mark Paston was superb and the Italians were denied. The Kiwis almost won the game late but Chris Wood’s shot went wide in the 83rd minute. This is only the second World Cup for New Zealand in their history. They lost all three of their matches in 1982 but they have now gotten two straight draws vs. the online gambling odds at Internet gambling companies in this year’s World Cup.
Italy was missing goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and midfielder Andrea Pirlo due to injuries in the online gambling match vs. New Zealand. Buffon is probably out for the rest of the World Cup while Pirlo could return for the match against Slovakia. Italy still seems to be in very good shape though even with the draw as with a win against Slovakia in online gambling odds, they will advance to the round of 16. New Zealand might have to be happy with their draw as it will be tough to avoid a letdown in their next match against a solid Paraguay team.