The Oly-Whites played most of the match a player short, losing Steven Old to a second yellow card after just 37 minutes.
New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen was full of praise for the way his team fought back against adversity.
"The game went pretty much as we expected in the beginning," said Nelsen. "The first 25 minutes were hectic and they threw everything at us.
"The referee made a bit of a mistake and that meant we had to dig deep. But this group have an unbelievable team spirit and they were too proud to crumble.
"Hopefully they made a few people at home proud too."
New Zealand coach Stu Jacobs had nothing but praise for his team.
"In my 12 years as a coach I've never seen a performance like tonight's," Jacobs said.
"We were three minutes away from making history."