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Novakovic double gives Slovenia win over New Zealand

Milivoje Novakovic netted twice from well-taken free-kicks as Slovenia defeated New Zealand 3-1 in a World Cup warm-up match in Maribor. Slovenia: 3 (Milivoje Novakovic 6', 30', Andraz Kirm 44') New Zealand: 1 (Rory Fallon 20')

Venue: Stadion Ljudski - Maribor, Slovenia Crowd: 10,965

Cologne striker Novakovic hit the target in just the 6th minute with a free-kick that flew past All Whites keeper Mark Paston before Rory Fallon restored parity in the 20th minute.

After some good form against Australia and then a win over Serbia, Ricki Herbert's men were riding high but were soon brought back down to earth when Novakovic made it 2-1 with another dead-ball situation ten minutes later before Andraz Kirm gave the home side a two-goal buffer right on half-time.

The second half contest did not provide anything close to what occurred in the opening 45 minutes as Slovenia boss Matjaz Kek made five substitutions to see the game out.

Starting Line-Ups

SVN Jasmin Handanovic (gk), Bostjan Cesar, Marko Suler, Bojan Jokic, Miso Brecko (Ilic 76'), Robert Koren, Aleksandar Radosavljevic (Krhin 78'), Andraz Kirm (Matavz 84'), Valter Birsa (Komac 80'), Zlatan Ljubijankic (Dedic 12'), Milivoje Novakovic (Pecnik 62')

Subs - Zlatko Dedic (12'), Nejc Pecnik (62'), Branko Ilic (76'), Rene Krhin (78'), Andrej Komac (80'), Tim Matavz (84')

NZL Mark Paston (gk), Ryan Nelsen, Tommy Smith, Winston Reid, Simon Elliott, Jeremy Christie, Tony Lochhead, Leo Bertos, Rory Fallon, Shane Smeltz, Chris Wood (Brockie 46')

Subs - Jeremy Brockie (46')

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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