Boxall Plays 49 Minutes for New Zealand in Opening Olympic Match

Aug. 7, 2008

Watch a replay of the New Zealand/China match at (click on the "Rewind" graphic, PC or Intel Mac only) Photo Gallery

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Defender Michael Boxall, a sophomore on the UCSB men's soccer team, played 49 minutes for New Zealand as it tied host China, 1-1, Thursday in opening round play of the Beijing Olympics.

The Oly-Whites, playing in their first Olympics, scored early in the second half to take a 1-0 lead, but heavily-favored China netted the equalizer with just three minutes to play.

Boxall, a native of Auckland, subbed into the match in the 41st minute.

New Zealand played a good chunk of the match with 10 men on the field as Steven Old picked up a second yellow card in just the 37th minute.

The Oly-Whites tallied the opening goal of the match in the 53rd minute as Jeremy Brockie quieted the capacity 60,000-strong crowd at Shenyang Stadium.

China waited until the 87th minute to tie it up. Manchester United forward Dong Fangzhuo, who subbed in in the 78th minute, headed a ball past New Zealand keeper Jacob Spoonley.

New Zealand's next Group C prelim will come Sunday vs. powerhouse Brazil. The Brazilians defeated Belgium, 1-0, Thursday, notching its score in the 79th minute against a nine-man Belgian squad.

Soccer is the lone sport to begin play prior to the Opening Ceremonies, which will be held Friday.

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