Recaps and game analysis to follow one or two hours after each match.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Group F: New Zealand

Surprisingly this is not New Zealand's first World Cup, having competed in 1982. The "All Whites" (don't confuse it with the rugby All Blacks), are very happy to be making another appearance, but they did have the easiest qualifying campaign. Since Australia moved from the Oceania to Asian confederation the door was left open for New Zealand, only having to overcome teams such as Fiji. Because they won in Oceania they then had the right to play the 5th place team from Asia, which surprisingly, was Bahrain. Although not a strong team, New Zealand still had to struggle to win the playoff, only going forward with a one to zero aggregate score.

Ryan Nelson [pictured] is the captain and most experienced player. Competing for DC United in previous years, he has since moved to Blackburn Rovers in the EPL. However, his time at the English club has been blighted by injuries.

New Zealand is no doubt a serious head-scratcher, to see them qualify but other teams left out. It is simply the nature of the game, and the All Whites are here to have some fun and see if they can maybe upset a few people along the way.

My Prediction: Group F 4th Place.

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