The All Whites' recent winning run has come to an abrupt end, with a stinging 3-1 defeat to Jordan in Abu Dhabi.
After a string of victories in the latter stages of 2021, the New Zealand side were brought back to end with a jolt against the world's 90th-ranked side.
The result was a fair reflection of a dominant performance from Jordan, though goalkeeper Michael Woud will have nightmares about their third goal, which tamely slipped past him.
It was an unconvincing display from the All Whites, 110 in the Fifa rankings, who struggled to create decent chances with their only goal coming from a first half Chris Wood penalty.
They missed the calming presence of Joe Bell in midfield and generally lacked conviction, both offensively and defensively.
Jordan were the toughest opponents New Zealand had faced since the match against the Republic of Ireland in November 2019. The west Asian side played a staggering 24 games last year and it showed, as at times they had the cohesion and fluidity of a club team.
They were sharper and quicker, on and off the ball, and looked consistently dangerous on the counter attack.
It was a fractured game from the All Whites, a reflection of the changes in personnel, a messy build up and several players lacking match fitness.
The neat interplay that characterised the games in October and November wasn't as apparent, while the fullbacks struggled to get forward.
Tim Payne was used at centre back for his first All Whites match in more than two years, alongside Winston Reid, with Bill Tuiloma deployed at right full back. Marko Stamenic stepped into the midfield anchor role, with Bell not fit enough to start.
Clayton Lewis was employed on the right of a midfield diamond, with Francis de Vries and Elijah Just the left sided players in a 4-4-2 shape. Logan Rogerson started alongside Wood up front, with the FC Haka player last wearing the silver fern in 2017.
New Zealand made an assertive start, with a couple of half chances, but both teams took time to settle down, with off-season rust evident.
The All Whites edged the first 20 minutes, before Jordan sprung into the lead, with a well-worked move down the right. Quick passing opened up the defence, with Ali Olwan beating Woud from a narrow angle at the near post.
It was the first time New Zealand had fallen behind under Danny Hay since the recent series of matches began in October. The deficit didn't last long, thanks to a fortunate penalty, with de Vries being slightly clipped as he burst into the area.
It was a marginal call but Wood converted with authority into the right bottom corner for his 28th international goal, just one short of Vaughan Coveny's national record.
But the All Whites fell behind just three minutes later. They were again exposed on their left flank, with defenders being pulled out of position, and de Vries handled as he attempted to block the driven cross. Woud got close – guessing the right way – but Baha Abdel-Rahman's attempt was struck with conviction into the corner.
Just created a good opening for Wood just before halftime, with the Newcastle striker directing his header wide of the post.
New Zealand struggled for fluency and couldn't get Sarpreet Singh on the ball, with the playmaker well contained.
They also couldn't achieve the right tempo with their passing, allowing the Jordan defence to get set and lacked width in their play.
The pattern continued after the break, with the All Whites sloppy in possession as Jordan read their intentions. Rogerson was released by Singh – but strayed offside – while Just almost found himself in on goal, after linking with Wood.
Jordan had a gilt-edged chance in the 67th minute, with Olwan blazing over from six yards.
Callum McCowatt (Singh) and Tommy Smith (Reid) were introduced for the final 25 minutes, with Stamenic pushed further forward.
Jordan grabbed a deserved third goal in the 80th minute, though it was a forgettable moment for Woud, as he allowed a tame shot from Olwan to slide under his body at the near post.
The chance came after a Payne pass into Lewis was picked off and Olwan was released. The uncapped duo of Alex Greive and Dalton Wilkins were introduced in the final stages, along with Joey Champness, but Jordan held firm.
All Whites 1 (Chris Wood 30', pen)
Jordan 3 (Ali Olwan 21', 80' Musa Al-Taamari 33', pen)