The All Whites took a small step forward on Wednesday morning in Mumbai.

After disappointing losses to Canada and Kenya in the first two matches of the Fritz Schmid era, they finally got a result, with a 1-0 win over Chinese Taipei.

It was a sometimes untidy display in a scrappy game, but in such situations the score line is all that matters.

The victory will be a vital boost to the confidence of Schmid's young squad, missing so many big names and with only a handful of players with 10 caps or more.


It was also a handy assessment for Schmid, who used 16 players across the 90 minutes.

However, no one should get too carried away.

Yes, this was a win against non-Oceania opposition, but just like the much trumpeted Football Ferns victory over Thailand last year, perspective needs to be maintained.

Chinese-Taipei have long been among the also rans of Asian football, and their squad in India features only three players who ply their trade outside Taiwan.

The All Whites, even with all of their absentees, should still expect to prevail.

And yes, this was also a victory over a higher ranked opponent but that is slightly misleading.

New Zealand's ranking always suffers due to a lack of match play, while Asian rankings can be inflated due to a plethora of Asian Cup and World Cup qualification games.

This result isn't one that stamps a mark early in a coaching era, like the close loss to Australia in London in 2005 under Ricki Herbert or the 1-1 with Georgia in Tallinn a year later.


And Schmid has, so far, had a more comfortable initiation to the role, compared with Anthony Hudson, who faced away matches against Uzbekistan, China and Korea in his first six months.

But there were lessons learned, nevertheless.

Sarpreet Singh continues to handle every new challenge with aplomb, and looks a special talent.

He thrived in the central midfield role – getting plenty of time in possession.

The Wellington Phoenix attacker earned the penalty that Myer Bevan converted, and also came close with another chance.

While a number of this current team might be forced aside when the bigger names return, Singh's name will always be in the notebook.

He'll also be a key element of the 2020 Olympics quest, which is one of New Zealand Football's stated priorities over the next 18 months.

Myer Bevan added energy up front, and also showed poise to convert from the penalty spot.

The 21-year-old looked in good touch, showing that the loan move to Sweden from Major League Soccer hasn't affected his football.

Just like in the first game against Kenya, the All Whites were again guilty of wasting a number of decent chances, while they had a case for a second penalty when Noah Billingsley was brought down in the second half.

Chinese Taipei were mostly toothless up front, though on debut goalkeeper Nik Tzanev reacted well to tip one header over the bar.

New Zealand face hosts India on Friday morning (NZT), needing a win to make the final of The HERO Intercontinental Cup.

All Whites 1 (M Bevan (pen) 36)
Chinese-Taipei 0