Recorded games of soccer in NZ are a little earlier than those in Australia. This is from Otago in 1875.
The third football match this season took place at the South Recreation Ground, on Saturday afternoon, when the sun shone out beautifully. The Oval, however, was rather wet, from the recent showers. The sides, each numbering ten, were captained by Messrs A, K. Smith and H. Rose. The former won the toss, and chose the western goal, commencing play with a capital kick from touch. After an hour's vigorous contest, the second goal of the season fell to the same player (H. Rose), who had the honour of scoring the first. He impelled the ball along capitally for some distance. Two other goals were obtained by Rose's side, one being spiritedly taken by Sampson before time was called, at 4.45 p.m. Smith's side was doubtless much the weaker of the two. The English Football Association Rules, as determined in February, 1867, allow no hacking, knocking over, or tripping. They have been revised, printed, and distributed amongst the members of the local club, and therefore it is scarcely probable that accidents will happen. Of course courage, and a disregard of the chance of a little danger, are required to make an efficient player. We adhere to our former opinion that, when possible, an umpire should be appointed.
Otago Witness 22 May 1875 Page 16