The Oly Whites have escaped with a one all draw against Japan in the first match of their Olympic build up in Tokyo.
Outclassed by the highly rated Japanese under 23 side, substitute Dakota Lucas broke clear four minutes into extra time to equalise.
Coach Neil Emblen says they had their backs against the wall for most of the game and didn't create too many chances.
"Lady luck was on our side and we need to improve our performances technically on the ball, but I'm pleased with the way the guys showed a great attitude and the will to keep going and never-say-die type spirit. So, pleased with that, but plenty to improve on."
"We were backs against the wall for most of the game and didn't create too many chances, but we took a chance and managed to sneak a draw."
Emblen fielded his three overage players, Ryan Nelsen, Michael McGlinchey and Shane Smeltz.
He will be boosted by the addition of All Whites Tommy Smith and Chris Wood for Saturday's match against South Korea in Seoul.
Photo: Michael McGlinchey (Getty Images)