The story appears on

Page A7

November 15, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

Fallon heads Kiwis to South Africa

RORY Fallon scored a first-half header to earn New Zealand a 1-0 win over Bahrain yesterday, sealing the All Whites' place in the 2010 World Cup finals.

Goalkeeper Mark Paston saved a second-half penalty to preserve New Zealand's lead in the second leg of the Asia/Oceania World Cup qualifier after the first leg in Manama had ended 0-0 last month.

Oceania champion New Zealand made its only previous World Cup appearance in Spain in 1982.

"I've been very honest about the quality of this team," New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert told reporters. "They've all worked hard. We all backed the system and we truly believed it was good enough to win and they have gone and done it."

Fallon, whose father Kevin was assistant manager of the 1982 side, sealed the Kiwis' ticket to next year's finals in South Africa when he powered home Leo Bertos's corner in the final minute of the first half at a sold-out Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

"I always fancy myself when the boys put the balls in and I have been scoring lately at my club so I just visualized it today and I knew I could do it," Fallon said.

"That is the belief that Ricki has been going on about. Everyone had that belief. Leo put in a great cross and I put it away."

Bahrain needed only a score draw to qualify and was celebrating in front of its small group of vocal fans when Abdulla Omar was brought down in the box by Tony Lochhead for a penalty.

However, Sayed Adnan's weak effort was easily saved by Paston to the delight of most in the 35,194 crowd in the stadium.

New Zealand's Shane Smeltz had an opportunity to kill the game off in the 70th minute when he was put through by Bertos, but his deft flick went just wide.

Bahrain was forced the relive the bitter disappointment of its 2006 qualifying campaign when it was beaten in a playoff by Trinidad and Tobago.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend