23 Sep 2013

New Zealand A and Phoenix draw in Rotorua

8:52 am on 23 September 2013

New Zealand A have drawn 1-1 with the Wellington Phoenix in a pre-season football friendly in Rotorua.

The Phoenix' Belgian striker Stein Huysegems rounded NZ A goalkeeper Glen Moss neatly to open the scoring midway through the first half.

NZ A responded soon after half-time with a goal to midfielder Aaron Clapham.

Bertos, Brockie, Moss and Phoenix captain Andrew Durante are all members of the A-League club who switched sides to face their regular team-mates.

NZ A and All Whites coach Ricki Herbert started with Durante alongside veteran Ivan Vicelich in the centre of defence, between Bertos and former Phoenix defender Tony Lochhead.

Midfielders Jake Butler and Aaron Clapham, who both featured at the OSN Cup in Saudia Arabia this month, were handed another chance to impress, alongside Cole Peverley, Matthew Ridenton and Jason Hicks.

Former Phoenix coach Herbert was using the match to assess fringe players trying to force their way into his squad for the World Cup playoff matches in November.

There was concern in the Phoenix camp when defender Louis Fenton left the field holding his shoulder following a heavy fall in the 28th minute. The injury was to be assessed.