Junior All Whites claim historic draw with Brazil
The Junior All Whites have made history in China tonight, holding Brazil to a 0-0 draw and claiming the first point for a New Zealand men's side against the world's most famous football nation.
Five-time world under-20 champions Brazil finished the game at Chengdu City's Shuangliu Stadium with 10 men after a player was dismissed in stoppage time.
It was New Zealand's second game at the Panda Cup tournament, following a 1-0 loss to China on Wednesday.
Brazil won their opening match 4-1 over Croatia.
"New Zealand people should be very proud of the team today," said Junior All Whites coach Darren Bazeley.
"They left it out there, gave 100 per cent and it was a strong and proud performance from our boys. We were playing a good Brazil team with good players but the boys showed so much heart and determination and, to be fair, we created the best chance of the game.
"We're talking now about having a point, midway through the second half we had a very good chance so we could have been even better. But we're not going to dwell on that because Brazil also had chances."
The result bodes well for New Zealand, who host the under-20 World Cup next year.
"It has to give the boys a lot of belief that they can go on the world stage and compete against the top nations in the world," Bazeley said.
"Today needed a massive effort and they've produced. They've set a benchmark of determination, discipline and organisation that they are going to have to now live up to. If they can recreate the togetherness we've shown today, then we'll give any team a good game on the day."
The previous six men's meetings of the two nations had been fruitless as the All Whites (three times), Oly Whites (two) and Young All Whites (one) had all been beaten.
The Football Ferns women's side recorded New Zealand's first win over Brazil last year at the Valais Cup in Switzerland while the Junior Football Ferns claimed the first point in a 0-0 draw at the 2006 under-20 women's World Cup in Russia.
The Junior All Whites complete their tour on Sunday against Croatia.
AT A GLANCE: Brazil 0, New Zealand 0
New Zealand: Oliver Sail (Damian Hirst 74'), Cory Brown, Birhanu Taye, Jesse Edge, Joel Stevens, Bill Tuiloma (Adam Mitchell 46'), Stuart Holthusen (Judd Baker 57'), Matthew Ridenton (Michael Den Heijer 70'), Alex Rufer (Monty Patterson 80'), Andre de Jong (Daniel Bowkett 46'), Brock Messenger.