Live blog: All Whites vs El Salvador friendly

03:17, May 24 2012

Join's Scott Preston for live updates from the All Whites' second international fixture of 2012, against El Salvador at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.


2.58pm: Thanks for joining us for today's All Whites international friendly. Be sure to join us again on Sunday afternoon, from just after 12pm, as New Zealand meet Honduras at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

2.56pm: Some promising debuts from Ian Hogg and Cameron Howieson. More fine play from Tommy Smith and Ben Sigmund and excitement from Marco Rojas and Kosta Barbarouses up-front. Ricki Herbert would have to be pleased, with El Salvadors goals possibly coming from an offside and an own goal.


92nd min: The final whistle blows three times. It's a 2-2 draw for the All Whites and El Saldvador in Houston.


90th min: Two minutes of time to be added. Unlikely we'll see a winning goal here. Yep, I'm blatantly trying to reverse jinx it at this point.

88th min: Both teams looking very tired now. Forgot to mention earlier it's 71 percent humidity.

85th min: All Whites really slowing the match down now. Happy to defend now and try to catch El Salvador out on the counter. I believe we've seen this before.

82nd min: La Azul now resorting to long-balls to create chances. They do have more pace than the All Whites and could catch them tiring at the back.

80th min: El Salvador go close. The long cross finds a man between two All Whites defenders but his header goes across goal and is put out for a corner. Paston punches away from the ensuing corner and the threat is avoided.

78th min: And next thing you know, Chris Wood gets a chance in front of goal. The cross just a bit too high and his header slides wide.

77th min: If the All Whites can find a game-winning goal, it will be the first time they've scored three goals or more in an international since playing Jordan in Amman on September 9, 2009. I'd be a fiver on Chris Wood to score it.

75th min: With 15 minutes plus stoppage time remaing, it's 2-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium.

72nd min: Youngster Cameron Howieson comes on to make his debut.

71st min: Strange moment as the El Salvadoran defenders stop, leaving Chris Wood with an open header in front of goal. He puts it wide, but the flag had gone up for offside.

70th min: Although it's not really their thing, you'd still like to see the All Whites put together some periods of possession.

67th min: The heart flutters as El Salvador shoot wide of goal after Ben Sigmund is beaten by a smart turn on ball.

65th min: Shane Smeltz is replaced by Chris Wood for New Zealand.

64th min: GOAL! The All Whites equalise through Kosta Barbarouses. Leo Bertos attacks down the right side, his cross finds Shane Smeltz, his shot is saved well by Villalobos but the rebound bounces to Barbarouses.

62nd min: Was wrong about this second half. The tempo has definitely slowed down, especially since the go-ahead goal.

60th min: El Salvador getting ready to make a couple of substitutions. Will be interesting to see if this alters the way they play. Happy to defend one-goal lead or still looking to attack.

57th min: As the All Whites did after Hogg's first half goal, El Salvador go straight back onto attack and a tantalising cross is parried away by Paston, then the rebound shot is blocked by Sigmund.

56th min: GOAL! El Salvador go up 2-1, as Rafael Burgos' shot is deflected off the knee of Michael Boxall and past Mark Paston. Clinical finish in front of goal though.

53rd min: If you're just joining us, it's 1-1. Goals to Rafael Burgos (13th) and Ian Hogg (27th).

51st min: Danger for the All Whites as El Salvador are awarded a corner and then a sweet spin move by the by-line sees a dangerous ball played into the six-yard box, before being cleared away.

49th min: Looks like it will be more of the same in the second half, with both sides again looking to create attack from any situation. Fun watching.

47th min: El Salvador swing onto attack to open the second half, then with their first attacking chance, Marco Rojas hits the post after beating the keeper.

46th min: Ball in play, second half is underway.


2.02pm: Doing some more reading on El Salvador: They reached the quarterfinals of last year's Concacaf championship and are a team on the rise. This is the first match of a three-match USA tour, playing Moldova on Sunday in Dallas and then Honduras on June 2 in Washington DC, before Concacaf World Cup qualifying round three matches later this year.

1.58pm: Also, just a reminder, I'll be giving up my Sunday for you guys - bringing you more live updates from the All Whites next match against Honduras from the Cotton Bowl, 12.30pm (NZT) on Sky Sport 3.

1.56pm: Dennis Katsanos and Harry Ngata chatting in-studio. Ngata feels like Herbert will give players another 15-20 minutes before making any changes.

1.54pm: is showing it's 77 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston today, That's around 25 degress celcius. Anticipate the second half substitutes to play a big part in deciding this match. How long will Ricki Herbert wait to get Chris Wood in up-front? Will Jeremy Brockie get a run? Will he make any personnel changes at halftime to solidify the defence?

1.50pm: Ricki Herbert would have to be reasonably pleased with that first half, creating a few good chances and Ian Hogg scoring a great goal in his first international. On the negative side, the defence was disorganised at times and allowed El Salvador some open chances.


46th min: The halftime whistle blows and the two sides head under the stands at 1-1.

45th min: One minute of extra time in the first half.

43rd min: El Salvador now looking to get possession more here late in the first half. Until a wildly ambitious shot, similar to Michael McGlinchey's a few minutes ago, gets nowhere near Mark Paston.

41st min: Closing in on halftime in a very entertaining first half. Still 1-1.

39th min: Some loose defending from both sides in this first half, as El Salvador create a wide-open shot again. This time it sails way over the bar but the All Whites need to tighten that up.

37th min: Barbarouses wide open on the right flank with three players in the middle to pick from but he crosses it too close to the goalkeeper, who swallows it up. Maybe rolling a pass to the man at the penalty spot would've been the better option there.

35th min: A great chance for El Salvador as the No 8 gets clear in the box but his shot hits Mark Paston in the shoulder and ricochets over the bar.

32nd min: Things have quietened down after that brief period of excitement. Doubtful that'll be the last goal, though. Both these teams looking to attack at every opportunity. Plenty of space developing in the middle of the park.

28th min: The All Whites almost score a second goal in as many minutes, with Shane Smeltz running onto a ball in the box, meeting the El Salvadoran goalkeeper at the same time.

27th min: GOAL! New Zealand ebutant Ian Hogg strikes with his left foot. Poor first touch, gives it a second touch, gets clipped from behind but doesn't go down and finishes well from a tight angle to the far post.

26th min: The transparent (and also disappearing) score/time graphic in the top-left corner, coupled with the 4:3 format footage really make this feel like the 1980s.

23rd min: Know your facts about El Salvador: They've been to two World Cups (1970 and 1982) and, like the All Whites, have have not made it out of the group stage (no points, one goal and 22 against in six matches). They are also known as La Selecta and have a current Fifa ranking of 49, their highest ever ranking.

22nd min: Both teams looking capable of creating chances but just not coming as yet.

18th min: Yellow card for Ben Sigmund for grabbing No 16 by the shirt as El Salvador sprint onto attack. That's when they look their most dangerous, catching the All Whites slow to get back from midfield turnovers.

15th min: New Zealand come back well, earning a corner and eventually getting a good chance from a header as goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo just gets his fist to it.

13th min: GOAL! A huge whiff of offside as Rafael Burgos beats the offside trap from the All Whites and chips Mark Paston for the opening goal. TV replays don't give us a good luck at it, so we may never really know.

12th min: Good to see Ben Sigmund replacing his divots in the turf. Good golf course ettiquette.

9th min: Great through ball from Vicelich to McGlinchey, who fails to beat the El Salvadoran keeper Benji Villalobos. Would expect to do better with that. A real missed chance for New Zealand but early signs are good.

9th min: El Salvador appear like they're not afraid to embellish any minor contact into a serious injury.

8th min: New Zealand swarming well in defence, did give up a corner a minute ago but defended away well.

6th min: The BBVA Compass Stadium appears to be somewhere around half-full. Has a capacity of around 22,000. Judging by the boos and whistles every time the All Whites are awarded something, I'd say it's 90-plus percent El Salvadorans.

4th min: Going to be difficult to get track of time in this match with no score/time graphic in the top corner, but we'll press on.

3rd min: After the All Whites are awarded a free-kick, Leo Bertos' cross is cleared out as far as Marco Rojas, who lets fly with a wayward shot.

2nd min: The old 4:3 picture. It's like this match is being played in 2002.

1st min: Kosta Barbarouses forces a corner, Michael McGlinchey delivers a great corner but the ball is met by no-one and bounces across the far sideline.

1st min: And ball is in play.


1.01pm: The TV graphic just showed Ricki Herbert as 'Edvin Juresic - Head Coach' or something like that. Crowd whistling as players wait around for the whistle to blow. Waiting. Waiting.

1pm: Coverage has started on Sky Sport 3. Dennis Katsanos and Harry Ngata in the studio, while Andrew Dewhurst and Ngata in commentary from Auckland.

All Whites wearing white tonight. El Salvador in their traditional blue ... kick-off imminent.

12.55pm: If you missed it on Sunday, here's Billy Harris' column about the All Whites' inability to find the back of the ol' onion bag (Trademark, Tommy Smyth wit a Y).

That leads us to one of the interesting points for today's match, Ricki Herbert's decision, as has been predicted, to go with Kosta Barbarouses and Marco Rojas up front with Shane Smeltz in his 3-4-3 formation, while leaving Chris Wood on the bench. Also how will the back three of Ben Sigmund, Michael Boxall and captain Tommy Smith acquit themselves without usual skipper and defensive rock Ryan Nelsen there. Also how will debutant Ian Hogg go on the left side of the midfield?

12.50pm: This is the third international since 2010 the All Whites have played in the US&A. Previous results were: 2-0 loss to Mexico at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on March 3, 2010 and 3-0 loss to Mexico in Denver on June 1, 2011. Let's hope the state of Texas is luckier for Ricki Herbert's side.

Following today's match, the All Whites will face Honduras on Sunday afternoon, 12.30pm (NZT) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. The two nations played out a post-World Cup 1-1 draw in Auckland on October 9, 2010.

12.45pm: Afternoon folks, welcome to our live updates from the All Whites' international friendly against El Salvador, coming to you live from Stuff's central Wellington newsroom, courtesy of Sky Sport 3.

Here's how the teams are looking:

New Zealand (probable): Mark Paston, Ben Sigmund, Michael Boxall, Tommy Smith, Ivan Vicelich, Leo Bertos, Michael McGlinchey, Ian Hogg, Marco Rojas, Shane Smeltz, Kosta Barbarouses. Substitutes: Glen Moss, Jake Gleeson, Jeremy Brockie, Adam McGeorge, Aaron Clapham, Cameron Howieson, Tim Payne, Chris Wood.

El Salvador (from): Dagoberto Portillo, Benji Villalobos, Alfredo Pacheco, Xavier Garcia, Victor Turcios, Carlos Monteagudo, Steve Purdy, Alexander Mendoza, Milton Molina, Dennis Alas (captain), Ramon Sanchez, Eliseo Quintanilla, Osael Romero, Jaime Alas, Edwin Sanchez, Elder Figueroa, Arturo Alvarez, Darwin Ceren, Isidro Gutierrez, Ricardo Ulloa, Lester Blanco, Rafael Burgos, Maikon Orellana, Nelson Bonilla.