Intercontinental Cup: Bevan scores the winner for New Zealand

It marked the All Whites' second win in 13 international games, while the loss all but ended Taipei's campaign. 

New Zealand players withstood late charge from Chinese Taipei to secure a win.   -  AIFF

New Zealand rode on Myer Stefan Bevan's penalty strike to clinch a 1-0 victory against Chinese Taipei in their Intercontinental Cup encounter at Mumbai Football Arena on Tuesday.

It was the All Whites' second win in 13 international games, while the loss all but ended Taipei's campaign. The Kiwis began the tie with an all-out attack approach,  marauding the Taipei box with successive attacks but Gary White's men were up to the task and withstood the pressure valiantly.

New Zealand had a chance to take the lead in the 22nd minute when Sarpreet Singh delivered a delightful cross to an unmarked Bevan, but the latter foiled the attempt and headed it straight to Taipei 'keeper Wen-Chieh Pan.

Sarpreet, who was the lone scorer in his side's opening tie, continued to remain a constant threat on the right flank and was rewarded for his perseverance in the 35th minute when he was brought down in the box. The winger earned his side the game-changing penalty when he latched on to a loose ball in the box and tried weaving his way towards goal but was brought down by Tzu Kuei Hung.

Bevan made amends for missing the sitter of a chance earlier and coolly slotted the ball into the right corner to propel his side into the lead.   
Ting-Yang Chen fired a crisp volley in the dying stages of the first half but New Zealand custodian Nikola Chivarov Tzanev palmed it over the crossbar to ensure his side's lead remained intact.

The second half saw a rather rough, if not ugly, display from the New Zealanders. The players seemed to be keener on finding their opponents' ankles than the ball and picked up as many as three yellow cards. 

Taipei's Hao-Wei Chen had a couple of decent chances in quick succession in the 66th minute.  The first was when he made a surging run from deep inside his half all the way to the opposition box but failed to cross or shoot, much to the frustration of coach White, who ended up kicking a water bottle on the sideline. He had another fine chance two minutes later but ended up blasting his effort well wide of the target, adding to White's frustrations. 

Taipei, desperate to score a point, staged a series of attacks in the dying minutes and earned three successive corners in a span of two minutes but simply failed to find the back of the net. Despite an added time period of seven minutes, New Zealand managed to hold on to its one-goal lead to earn its first points of the tournament and remain in the hunt for a berth in the final.

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