The Oly-Whites have gone down 1-0 to Belarus in their Olympic Games opener in Coventry today.
New Zealand conceded a soft goal in first-half injury time with goal keeper Michael O'Keefe missing a clearing punch just before the break, allowing Belarus' Dimitry Barga to ease the ball through into the net.
The score came after New Zealand had dominated the first 15 minutes of play, troubling their more fancied rivals before Belarus gained parity as the half progressed.
The match was evenly balanced throughout yet the Oly-Whites lacked the creativity and drive to take control of the match when it was needed.
New Zealand badly needed one of their senior men to take the game by the scruff of the neck in the final quarter as the match began to slip away with Belarus holding all the momentum.
The Kiwis worked hard off the ball and strung together numerous movements that showed promise only for a lack of finishing to let them down.
After playing tightly in the middle and limiting the time and space of Belarus' attacking plays New Zealand's defence loosened in the second-period while their attack lost structure and patience.
Chris Wood missed a golden opportunity in the 66th minute when he fired a shot on the end of a sweeping New Zealand counter-attack, only for the ball to sail high over the bar.
A succession of free-kicks came their way but the Oly-Whites lacked the initiative to push forward and take the game to Belarus with the match still in the balance.
Good positioning from O'Keefe saved the Kiwis twice in the final five minutes while another shot again flew over the bar as Belarus began turning the screws.
The Oly-Whites made an auspicious start with Tommy Smith picking up a yellow card in the first minute.
New Zealand's focus now turns to their second round clash against Egypt, which will be no easy task after they came back from 3-0 down to eventually lose 3-2 against Brazil today.
The Oly Whites meet Egypt next Monday 30th July, 11pm
Oly Whites 0
HT 1-0 Belarus