Miya and the boys head home after heart breaking loss

Sarpreet Singh in action against Colombia.

Sarpreet Singh in action against Colombia.

New Zealand have exited the FIFA U20 World Cup at the round of 16 in heartbreaking fashion, losing 5 - 4 on penalties to South American giants Colombia.

The game finished 1 all after extra time in a thrilling match that saw the young New Zealanders equalise in the first half after conceding an early goal from a set piece.

An impressive performance by the Kiwis had them dominant in nearly all of the statistic categories. The stats could not be turned into further goals however and despite going close on several occasions in extra time the Junior All Whites were unable to put the game to bed.

New Zealand had all the momentum in the early stages of the penalty shoot out. Goal Keeper Michael Would saved the first 2 Colombian spot kicks and WPSS graduates Sarpreet Singh and Max Mata both showed nerves of steel to smash their kicks into the net. Woud then saved the third kick from Colombia and NZ looked set for the quarter finals until the referee awarded the penalty to be retaken, it was scored and the Colombians took full advantage of their lifeline to out last the Oceania champions 5 - 4.

A heroic effort and a tournament full of superb displays from the New Zealanders. Congratulations to Miya, Sarpreet, Max, Leon and all of the staff and squad of this U20 mens group - you have done this country proud on the World Stage.

Travel safe and we look forward to welcoming Miya home this week.

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Leigh Kenyon