9 Oct 2010

Smeltz misses penalty as NZ draw with Honduras

10:34 pm on 9 October 2010

Shane Smeltz squandered two golden opportunities to give New Zealand victory over Honduras in a friendly football match in Auckland on Saturday night.

Referee Peter O'Leary awarded the All Whites the controversial late penalty for a seemingly innocuous foul on Winston Reid, but Smeltz's kick cannoned off the bar and he failed to net the rebound.

Smeltz missed a last-minute penalty and blazed the rebound over the bar to leave the score tied at 1-1.

Teenage striker Chris Wood scored his first international goal late in the first half before Walter Martinez equalised for the visitors mid-way through the second, Reuters reports.

More than 18,000 people watched the match at North Harbour Stadium.

The match was the first for the All Whites since the 2010 World Cup finals, where they drew all three of their group games and ended up the only unbeaten team at the tournament.

Honduras forced All Whites goalkeeper Mark Paston to replicate his superb World Cup form with two reflex diving saves from a Georgie Welcome header and then a Walter Martinez free kick within the space of two minutes.

However, Paston was unable to keep out Martinez in the 64th minute when the Beijing Guoan forward outjumped the New Zealand defence to score from Mauricio Sabillon's right-wing cross.