Melbourne Victory winger Marco Rojas starred in New Zealand's gallant 2-1 loss to Mexico in an international friendly on Sunday morning (AEDT).
Rojas scored New Zealand's only goal in front of over 40,000 fans in Nashville, getting the final touch on a superb Deklan Wynne cross in the 46th minute.
But Mexico responded through Marco Fabian, who restored his side's lead in the 56th minute after Giovani dos Santos opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half.
Rojas was brought off in the 78th minute, earning praise from the press box following the match.
"I was proud after the first half – other than the penalty, I don't think they caused us too many problems," All Whites coach Anthony Hudson said.
"In the second half, I think we spent most of the time in their half.
"So to come away from home, play in front of a Mexican crowd and put Mexico under pressure like that makes me very proud.
"We didn't come here and sit back and defend – we were positive tonight and that's what I'm pleased about. "
Next up for the All Whites is an international friendly against the USA on Wednesday morning (AEDT), with Rojas due back in Melbourne on Friday.