A seventh minute goal from Shane Smeltz has ignited New Zealand’s match with Italy, the defending champions pulling back the goal in the 29th minute to send the defending champions and Kiwis into halftime tied at one.
Smeltz’s goal came off a set-piece that dropped behind the defense to the New Zealand attacker, who poked this shot past Frederico Marchetti for the opening goal. It was New Zealand’s only shot of the half.
Italy went on to control the remaining forty minutes, with the Azzurri equalizing in the 29th minute after Tommy Smith gave away a penalty, pulling down Daniele de Rossi in the six yard box. Iaquinta put the penalty kick into the right side of the goal to move Italy even.
Italy held 72 percent of the possession and outshot the Kiwis 11-2 but, as was the case against Paraguay, showed little ability to craft a final ball.