Winston Reid’s New Zealand made an impressive start to their 2020 Olympic Games campaign on Thursday, beating South Korea 1-0.
West Ham United defender Reid captained the OlyWhites at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Japan, where Burnley striker Chris Wood scored the only goal of the game 20 minutes from full-time.
The victory put New Zealand top of Group B after the first round of matches, level on three points with Romania, who defeated Honduras 1-0.
The 33-year-old was in top form in repelling the threat of South Korea, who dominated for long periods and had 12 shots on goal to New Zealand’s two, even overcoming a cut to his head to see his team over the line in Kashima.
The Hammers centre-back made a miraculous goal-line clearance moments before Wood’s winner, which saw the striker control a deflected shot and beat goalkeeper Bum-keun Song from 12 yards out.
And despite late Korean pressure, New Zealand held on for a famous victory – their first in seven Olympic Football Tournament matches after they went winless at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The OlyWhites tackle Honduras in their second Group B fixture in Kashima on Sunday 25 July, before taking on Romania in Sapporo on Wednesday 28 July.
The final will be held in Yokohama on Saturday 7 August.
Three West Ham United Women’s stars are also in action at the Olympics, Australia’s Mackenzie Arnold and Tameka Yallop and Canada’s Adriana Leon, and you can find out how their respective first matches went by clicking here!