The national under-20 men's football team have lost 1-0 to their hosts Uzbekistan in Ferghana, in the first of two warm-up games for the upcoming World Cup here, which starts at the end of next month.
The Junior All Whites play Uzbekistan again in Tashkent on Tuesday.
A 12th minute goal was the difference, though New Zealand coach Darren Bazeley says the match was a competitive game in front of a large home crowd.
"The game was played in a brand new stadium and it was a sellout crowd of 20,000 so they had a really good home support," Bazeley says.
New Zealand open the FIFA Under-20 World Cup against Ukraine on May 30 in Auckland while Uzbekistan meet Honduras in Christchurch on June 1 in their first match.