Australia's U-23 side played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with New Zealand U-23's in Friday's highly-anticipated friendly in Wollongong.
Adelaide United starlet Riley McGree broke the deadlock just after the interval with a tidy finish.
But a delightful 71st minute free kick from Kiwi Clayton Lewis, of Scunthorpe United, ensured spoils were shared in the first of the two-match series.
It was the first match on home soil in close to eight years for the Olyroos, who started on the front foot at a windy WIN Stadium.
READ: Why Seb Pasquali traded Ajax's bright lights for Western United
TICKETS: Secure your spot to see Australia’s finest young footballers in action
TEAM NEWS: Australia U-23 squad named to face New Zealand U-23
McGree went closest to drawing first blood for Gary van Egmond's side, but the 20-year-old saw his initial effort scooped off the line, before his second was blasted over the bar.
Perth Glory midfielder Brandon Wilson, handed the captain's armband by van Egmond, also saw an effort blocked by the New Zealand defence as Australia turned the screw.
McGree atoned for his wayward earlier effort by finishing off Lachlan Wales' pass on 56 minutes.
But Lewis restored parity for New Zealand with a sweetly-struck free kick.
Australia meet the Kiwis again in Campbelltown on Monday, September 9.
The second match of this Trans-Tasman tussle is the perfect tune-up for the Olyroos, who will travel to Thailand in January to compete in the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship.
International Friendlies – Australia U-23 v New Zealand U-23
Date: Monday, 9 September 2019
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium, Campbelltown
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEST
Tickets: Available at www.socceroos.com.au
Player FeaturesSee more
The proud Caltex Socceroos moment that went beyond Behich's childhood dreams
He's one of the most experienced players in Graham Arnold's squad and Aziz Behich is relishing the chance to assume more of a leadership role on the Caltex Socceroos' journey to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022?. Behich has 36 senior caps to his name, with only six other players
The bold move that helped re-ignite Smith’s Caltex Socceroos career
Brad Smith admits he had doubts whether America's Major League Soccer was the right place to kick-start his career when Seattle Sounders came calling a little over 12 months ago. The Caltex Socceroos left-back, who debuted in the Premier League with Liverpool as a teenager in
From Adelaide to Germany: Borrello’s constant reminder of his Caltex Socceroos goal
From watching TV as a kid to lacing up his boots on the other side of the world - Brandon Borrello has always been aware of his Caltex Socceroos destiny. Freiburg SC attacker Borrello made his Caltex Socceroos bow in the June friendly against Korea Republic in Busan, something