Smeltz misses spot-kick as Honduras hold Kiwis

AUCKLAND, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Shane Smeltz squandered two golden opportunities to give New Zealand victory over Honduras in a friendly on Saturday but missed a last-minute penalty and blazed the rebound over the bar to leave the score tied at 1-1.

Local referee Peter O'Leary awarded the All Whites the controversial late penalty for a seemingly innocuous foul on Winston Reid but Smeltz's kick cannoned off the bar and he failed to net the rebound at North Harbour Stadium.

Teenage striker Chris Wood scored his first international goal late in the first half before Walter Martinez equalised for the visitors midway through the second.

The match was the first for the All Whites since the 2010 World Cup finals, where they drew all three of their group games and ended up the only unbeaten team at the tournament.

While pre-match ticket sales were slow, a large number of spectators took advantage of the clear, cool spring evening to pay at the gate, swelling the attendance to 18,153.

Roared on by the passionate 'White Noise' fans, New Zealand had the majority of chances in the first half with Smeltz, Wood, Tim Brown and Chris Killen all going close.

With half-time approaching, Jeremy Brockie provided a pinpoint cross for the 18-year-old Wood to power a header past the wrong-footed Noel Valladares.

The Barnsley striker celebrated his goal in cheeky style, pulling down his shorts to reveal underwear with his nickname "Woodzee" emblazoned on the rear.

The All Whites pressed forward in the second half and came close to doubling their advantage when Killen's toe-poke came back off the post.

Valladares then made a brilliant diving save from a Leo Bertos free kick before Smeltz got in the way of a goal-bound Reid header.

Honduras forced All Whites goalkeeper Mark Paston to replicate his superb World Cup form with two reflex diving saves from a Georgie Welcome header and then a Walter Martinez free-kick within the space of two minutes.

However, Paston was unable to keep out Martinez in the 64th minute when the Beijing Guoan forward outjumped the New Zealand defence to score from Mauricio Sabillon's right-wing cross.