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Confederations Cup

Confederations Cup

McBride, Kirovski are goal-scorers in 2-1 win over New Zealand in Confederations Cup.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Saturday, July 24, 1999) -- Brian McBride and Jovan Kirovski provided the scoring as the United States defeated New Zealand today 2-1 on the opening day of the Confederations Cup in front of a sun-drenched capacity crowd of 60,000 at Jalisco Stadium.

In the opening match of Group B, Brazil used four second-half tallies to drop Germany 4-0. The standings after one game have Brazil (1-0, 3 points, plus-4 goal differential) first, the U.S. (1-0, 3 points, plus-1) second, New Zealand (0-1, 0 points, minus-1) third and Germany (0-1, 0 points, minus-4) fourth, The top two teams advance to the semifinals.

"I'm happy with the three points (for the victory), but disappointed in the final result," said U.S. coach Arena. "We felt we played well enough to win by a few more goals."

After some sustained pressure early in the match, striker Bride finally put the U.S. ahead in the 26th minute. Midfielder Jovan Kirovski, filling in for absent playmaker Claudio Reyna, collected a ball on the left side and drove a cross into the penalty area. McBride, unmarked and charging the cross in full stride, met the ball with a bullet header that found the left corner of the net, out of reach of New Zealand goalkeeper Michael Utting. The goal was McBride's eighth in 30 international appearances.

The Kiwis nearly tied the score four minutes later when midfielder Chris Jackson controlled the ball inside the USA's six-yard box. Jackson muscled past a defender near the left post, but found Kasey Keller diving at his feet to deflect his attempted shot.

Kirovski advanced the lead to 2-0 in the 58th minute. Outside midfielder Eddie Lewis, who moments earlier had a left-footed blast saved brilliantly by Utting, served a corner kick from the left side into the penalty area. Kirovski out-jumped his defender and snapped a header into the net from seven yards out, his sixth goal in 31 appearances.

Two minutes after that, Keller again made a superb save to hold off the Kiwis, going low and to his right to parry wide a point-blank shot by Aaran Lines, New Zealand's speedy left winger.

In the third minute of injury time, however, New Zealand captain Chris Zoricich found net off a free kick from 24 yards to cut the final score to 2-1. The defender stepped up and hit a bending ball with the outside of his right foot that hooked away from Keller and into the right corner.

In the first game here today, Brazil soundly defeated Germany behind two goals by Alex and single tallies from Ze Roberto and Ronaldinho, all after intermission.

"Brazil proved today that they are one of the best teams in the world," Arena said. "It will be a great challenge and a great experience for us as a team."

The United States faces Brazil Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. (ET) and closes group action with Germany Friday at 7 p.m.

United States 2, New Zealand 1

Lineups: United States - Kasey Keller, Carlos Llamosa, Jeff Agoos, Robin Fraser, John Harkes, Richie Williams, Jovan Kirovski, Eddie Lewis (Frankie Hejduk 77), Cobi Jones (Joe Max-Moore 81), Brian McBride, Ernie Stewart (Ben Olsen 72); New Zealand - Michael Utting, Ivan Vicelich, Sean Douglas (Scott Smith 73), Chris Zoricich (captain), Aaran Lines, Gavin Wilkinson, Chris Jackson, Mark Atkinson (Ryan Nelsen 57), Mark Burton, Kris Bouckenhooghe, Vaughan Covney (Mark Elrick 62).

United States - McBride (Kirovski) 26;
United States - Kirovski (Lewis) 57;
New Zealand - Zoricich (unassisted) 93+.

Shots: United States 9, New Zealand 5. Saves: United States 3, New Zealand 5. Corner kicks: United States 3, New Zealand 3. Fouls: United States 16, New Zealand 12. Offside: United States 7, New Zealand 2. Yellow card caution: United States - none, New Zealand - Coveny 32.

Referee: Ubaldo Aquino (Paraguay). Assistant referees: Suresh Behari (Fiji), Domingo Pequenino (Mozambique). Attendance: 60,000 at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. Weather: 90 degrees, sunny.

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