Myer Bevan’s first-half penalty has been enough for the All Whites to edge Chinese Taipei 1-0 for their first win at the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai.
The New Zealanders again created countless scoring opportunities in the first half, but had little to show on the scoreboard for their dominance.
Bevan’s crucial strike came when he converted a 36th minute penalty after midfielder Sarpreet Singh, who was awarded man of the match after an impressive display, was pulled down in the box during a promising attacking move
Bevan, a 21-year-old forward from Husqvarna FF, hit a strong shot into the right corner to score his second goal for New Zealand in his fifth international.
The All Whites again had a number of attacking chances which they did not convert in the first half, the most notable coming from good crosses from Singh down the right flank.
Coach Fritz Schmid made six changes to the side which lost their opening game to Kenya 2-1, with two players making their debuts in goalkeeper Nik Tzanev and 17-year-old left back Liberato Cacace.
Chinese Taipei were dangerous on the counter-attack with the pace of forward Hao-Wei Chen a constant threat, but struggled to link in the final third.
They resorted to a number of long range efforts which never troubled Tzanev.
The All Whites should have scored their second in the 55th minute.
After Jai Ingham had been denied by a good save minutes earlier, Singh was played into a threatening position from some good lead up work by Cacace but his shot from close range was deflected over the by-line.
Schmid brought on Clayton Lewis, Sam Brotherton, Tim Payne, Adam Mitchell and Noah Billingsley on in the second half, and the fresh legs helped the All Whites close out the game.
The win was New Zealand’s first over non-Oceania opposition since 2015, when they defeated Oman away from home, and their first victory under Schmid.
The All Whites play their final pool game early on Friday against unbeaten India, a match they must win to make the final unless Chinese Taipei upset Kenya.