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The iconic moment that will define Winston Reids All Whites career

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It was the moment that will define Winston Reids football career.
The All Whites were seconds away from defeat in their opening game of the 2010 World Cup against Slovakia in Rustenburg, South Africa.

That was until striker Shane Smeltz, with his back to goal, delivered an in-swharapg cross into the penalty area where three of his team-mates were waiting. One of them was Reid.

The young centre-back had been pushed forward as the All Whites searched for a late equaliser.

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As Smeltzs cross arrived into the box, Reid, New Zealands No. 4, sprung off his right foot and closed his eyes.

He made perfect contact with his head and guided the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal.

It was 1-1.

History had been made.

FOOTBALL AUSTRALIA
All Whites coach Danny Hay and striker Chris Wood pay tribute to retiring captain Winston Reid.

The All Whites had secured their first-ever point at a World Cup, and it was thanks to Reids last-gasp leveller a goal described in Stuffs match report as a header from heaven.

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert sprinted down the sideline and punched the air as soon as the ball went in.

Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss threw his drink bottle at the ground in disgust.

Reid pointed to the sky. He ripped his shirt off, swung it around and charged towards the corner flag with his team-mates in tow.

He was almost pushed into the moat that surrounded the field during the celebrations.

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Winston Reid scored a last-gasp goal to draw with Slovakia in New Zealand's opening game of the 2010 World Cup.

It was really cool and it was amazing, Reid reflected this week, after announcing his retirement from international football.

I know I got to close my eyes and head the ball in the back of the net but it was like everyone had scored.

It still feels like yesterday but obviously a few years have passed.

It was a great time for not only myself but my team-mates, the staff and the nation as well. Its just a proud moment.

Reid revealed at the beginning of the week that Sundays game against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland will be his last for the All Whites.


It will be the final chapter of an illustrious international football career that has spanned 12 years.

Reid played 222 games for West Ham, including 166 in the Premier League, during his club career.

But he will be remembered best for that goal he scored for the All Whites at the 2010 World Cup.

It sits alongside Rory Fallons header against Bahrain, which qualified the All Whites for the global showpiece, as one of the most iconic goals in the history of New Zealand football.


It came in just his fourth appearance for New Zealand after switching allegiance from Denmark.

Reid remains one of only four New Zealanders to score a goal at a senior mens World Cup.

Like Winston says, it was absolutely a team effort from the team, the staff to the country, Herbert said.

There was a never-say-die attitude in that team and it was a testament that they fought to the end and gave themselves that chance to take something away from it.

But at the end of the day it was his ability to put the ball in the back of the net, and he will be fondly remembered for years and years to come.

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