New Zealand

New Zealand reach first World Cup since 1982 after qualifying through Oceania.

    With Ryan Nelsen as captain the All Whites could be confused for a rugby team [GALLO/GETTY]

    The All Whites ensured that there would be no Arab team from outside Africa at the World Cup when they eliminated tiny Bahrain in an Oceania-Asia playoff to reach their second World Cup.

    Ricki Herbert's team were helped in qualifying for their first tournament since 1982 by Australia's move to Asia, meaning they took over as top dogs in the weak Oceania zone.

    Captain Ryan Nelsen is a successful defender with Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League.

    But 78th-ranked New Zealand may have to be satisfied just to be coming to the party, despite a 1-0 warmup win over Serbia.


    James Bannatyne (Team Wellington), Glen Moss (Melbourne Victory) Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix)

    Group F fixtures

    Monday June 14

    Italy v Paraguay 

    Tuesday June 15

    New Zealand v Slovakia 

    Sunday June 20

    Slovakia v Paraguay 
     Italy v New Zealand 

    Thursday June 24

    Slovakia v Italy 
     Paraguay v New Zealand


    Andy Boyens (New York Red Bulls), Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix), Ryan Nelsen (captain, Blackburn Rovers), Winston Reid (FC Midtjylland), Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix), Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town), Ivan Vicelich (Auckland City).


    Andy Barron (Team Wellington), Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix), Jeremy Brockie (Newcastle Jets), Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix), Jeremy Christie (Tampa Bay Rowdies), Aaron Clapham (Canterbury United), Simon Elliott (unattached), Michael McGlinchey (Central Coast Mariners), David Mulligan (unattached).


    Rory Fallon (Plymouth Argyle), Chris Killen (Middlesbrough), Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast), Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion).

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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