The Oly Whites' hopes of avoiding an early end to their London Games campaign hang by a thread despite their gaining their first point of the tournament.
The New Zealanders somehow salvaged a 1-1 draw against Egypt, who fashioned a host of chances at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday and wasted all but one of them.
Having lost to Belarus in their opening match, the New Zealanders now need a huge upset against tournament favourites Brazil on Wednesday to progress to the last eight.
They spent most of the match against a slick-passing Egyptian side on the back foot, but did take the lead in the 17th minute via Chris Wood.
From a corner, the unmarked West Bromwich Albion striker was the beneficiary of headed knock-down from defender Tommy Smith and his scuffed shot dribbled in from two metres out.
Egypt - with one of their over-age players, midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika, pulling the strings - continued to make the most of the running.
They got their equaliser in the 40th minute, shortly after Oly Whites midfielder Kosta Barbarouses had a penalty shout turned down after being nudged in the back.
A well-crafted cross from Aboutrika was turned in at the far post by Saleh Mohamed for his second goal of the tournament.
From the start of the second half, Egypt chased the goal that would give them their first win of the Games.
The New Zealanders were forced to dig in and showed real grit to hold out, with keeper Michael O'Keeffe producing some good stops.
At the game opened up late on, the Oly Whites had a great chance to snatch victory, but Michael McGlinchey headed a Marco Rojas' cross straight at keeper Ahmed Elshenawi.
However, the best opportunities for a winner fell to Egyptian striker Meteab Emad, who squandered two of them, one in stoppage time when he failed to find a open target from 12 metres out.