Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

The All Whites Wake Up Call On The World Stage

Read More:
Contributor:
Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino

Two games, two defeats, seven goals conceded. The New Zealand All Whites Confederations Cup campaign has highlighted the gulf between Oceania’s best and the rest. Yet World Cup qualification is not impossible. 

Despite the fact that New Zealand is out of contention in the Confederations Cup, their final game at the tournament against Iraq will show us whether they have the mental strength to bounce back from their defeats and more importantly how they match up against Middle Eastern opponents. 

New Zealand will face either Bahrain or Saudi Arabia in the World Cup qualifying playoff in October and November.

The home and away ties will determine whether New Zealand returns to the biggest sporting stage for the first time in close to three decades.

It will be a tall order. 

Both Middle Eastern nations are technically sound and, unlike the All Whites, have had a long, tough road of World Cup qualifiers to prepare the squad and unite the team. 

The All Whites have precious few opportunities to play competitive and regular games in Oceania and the lack of time together and preparation showed in their Confederations Cup matches. 

However, New Zealand has shown some promise in the lead up to the tournament and in the defeat to South Africa. 

They should not be totally discounted for World Cup qualification.

Attacking combination Chris Killen and Shane Smeltz have demonstrated they can threaten, however they need service from the midfield and this was woefully lacking against South Africa. 

Against Spain the gulf between the European champions, arguably the best in the world too, and the All Whites was painfully on display as Fernando Torres tore the Kiwi back four apart. 

Hopefully they can save face against Iraq and generate some momentum for what lies ahead.

If not then questions need to be asked regarding the future of New Zealand and Oceania football and its logical integration into Asia to help strengthen such nations. 

All articles and comments on Voxy.co.nz have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.