Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Jeremy Christie's first World Cup game action came with a sudden celebration.
Christie, playing for New Zealand, entered the Kiwis' World Cup opener against Slovakia Tuesday in the 77th minute.
And with Christie on the field, the Kiwis celebrated perhaps the nation's greatest soccer moment — a tying goal in the match's final 30 seconds to give New Zealand a 1-1 draw and its first point in World Cup competition.
After trailing for most of the second half, New Zealand's Winston Reid scored on a header during three minutes of stoppage time. The Kiwis lost all three pool games in their only previous World Cup appearance in 1982.
Christie and New Zealand next face Group F favorite Italy on Sunday.
Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer