Football: All Whites lose penalty shootout in third-place playoff against Tunisia in Egypt

The All Whites have been beaten via penalty shootout 4-2 by Tunisia in their third-place playoff in the ACUD International Football Cup showdown in Egypt on Wednesday (NZ time).

After finishing regulation in a goalless draw, the All Whites made a poor start in the deciding spot kicks, with Ben Waine sending his first attempt wide.

Substitute Elijah Just's third attempt was saved by subsitute goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen, while Tunisia ultimately slotted all of their four penalties past Max Crocombe to claim the bronze.

All Whites players during the penalty shootout.
All Whites players during the penalty shootout. Photo credit: Photosport

The New Zealanders' struggles from the spot was on of the prevalent themes at the Air Defence Stadium, with midfielder Sarpreet Singh missing a golden opportunity to score with a penalty kick in the first half.

A clear foul on striker Kosta Barbarouses set up the attempt, which was comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper Ben Said.

The match ended in drama, with both NZ captain Liberato Cacace and Tunisia's Elias Achouri's beef continuing after the final whistle, leading to second yellow cards and a red for both, having moments earlier been booked.

The New Zealanders created the superior excellent goal-scoring chances in the first half. Callum McCowatt had a shot saved early, before Tommy Smith's header was brilliantly repelled by Said.

Tunisia - No. 41 in the FIFA rankings, 62 places above NZ - warmed to the contest and conjured some chances of their own but finished without a shot on target through 90 minutes.

The result means the under-strength All Whites - missing key players Chris Wood, Joe Bell, and Tim Payne - leave Cairo winless, on the back of their 1-0 defeat to hosts Egypt.

The All Whites won't be back in action until June, when they head to the Oceania Nations Cup in Vanuatu.