Playing its first match under new head coach John Herdman, Canada defeated New Zealand 1-0 Saturday afternoon in an international friendly played amid gusty winds at Pinatar Arena in Murcia, Spain.
Toronto FC forward Tosaint Ricketts scored the lone goal when he got on the end of a 60-yard pass from LAFC defender Dejan Jakovic out of the back and took his first-time shot well over New Zealand goalkeeper Max Crocombe.
New Zealand were unfortunate not to score in the first half when forward Michael McGlinchey hit the post twice within a minute.
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- THE BIG PICTURE: Two new eras got underway as both Canada and New Zealand played their first matches under new head coaches. Canada's John Herdman used seven MLS players on his starting XI - and nine overall - and gave debuts to three new players. Fritz Schmid, who took over for Anthony Hudson - now coaching the Colorado Rapids - gave the captain's armband to Minnesota United's Michael Boxall and saw four players make an All Whites debut.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With the winds gusting heavily towards the south goal, Canada's captain Jakovic lifted a long ball from his own end that sailed over the New Zealand defense and onto the path of Ricketts, who patiently waited for the right bounce before putting away his chance.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Both teams saw solid performances from veterans, but on a day that began new cycles, Canada's 18-year-old left back Liam Millar showed a lot of promise in his senior team debut. The Liverpool U-18 youngster was active all day out wide, and not shy about getting forward into the attack.