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The New Zealand U23 men’s football team has drawn nil-all in a hard-fought match against Vanuatu at the Pacific Games.

In near 30-degree heat the Vanuatu side came out firing, dominating possession for the first 10 minutes.

“We came into this knowing it was going to be a tough game, Vanuatu is full of proper athletes, they play a really good style of football, really quick on the ball,” said NZ keeper Conor Tracey.

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New Zealand then made their way into the game before halftime, with both sides making a number of shots at goal, none of which found the back of the net.

“There were a lot of shots but even more corners so at half time we talked about trying to limit the number of set pieces and corners,” said Tracey.

The second half continued in the same vein. Tracey was kept busy and made a spectacular diving save to keep the scores at nil all.

“It’s a bit disappointing but they were a good side, now we’ll just regroup and refocus ahead of our next game.”

New Zealand plays Papua New Guinea in their final match on pool play at 0900 on Monday July 15th.


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