Football Blog - Independent Football Writing
Football Blog

New Zealand Football Blog

This summer was not kind to Ricki Herbert and New Zealand football. The 2nd Round of Oceania World Cup 2014 Qualifying doubles as the OFC Nations Cup. This event was hosted by the Solomon Islands in June, which led to to excessive heat. In fact the teams took a short break at the midway point of each half to prevent cramping. New Zealand was placed in a group with the host Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. The Kiwis won the group, getting two wins and then finishing the …

Earlier this week Ricki Herbert named his 22 man squad for both the friendlies versus El Salvador and Honduras, as well as the OFC Nations Cup, which included a couple of surprise call ups for teenagers plying their trade in England. Tim Payne, an 18 year old for the Blackburn Rovers and Cameron Howieson, 17, of Burnley earned their first call ups to the squad in time for these matches. Aside from that the roster includes many players from the Jamaica match, as well as some who weren’t available in …

The New Zealand federation has announced that 34 year old Tottenham Hotspur Defender Ryan Nelsen will captain the Oly-White’s this summer in London. It is also thought that Coach Neil Emblen wants to make striker Shane Smeltz and West Ham defender Winston Reid as the two other over-age players that are permitted to be apart of the 18-man team. If that is the case, then the team that takes the field this summer could be predominately players who play for the full national team. With the 2nd round of World …

The New Zealand Federation just announced they have scheduled 2 friendlies in May in the United States as build-up to the team traveling to the Solomon Islands for the OFC Nations Cup. On May 23, the All-Whites will face El Salvador in Houston, Texas. Three days later they will face 2010 World Cup Participants Honduras in Dallas, Texas.  Credit goes to the NZF for getting these matches against quality competition that the team could face in the Intercontinental Playoff against the 4th-placed CONCACAF squad.
Below I have listed some quick information …

The New Zealand U-23 squad (aka the Oly-Whites) won the Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Taupo, roughly two hours from Auckland and have now qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London. In the group stage New Zealand had just 2 matches, against Papua New Guinea and Tonga. In their first match the team was reduced to 10 men in the 54th minute as forward Dakota Lucas was sent off, but through hard work, New Zealand took the lead in the 73rd with a strike from substitute Sean Lovemore, who came …

Wellington Phoenix is one of the ten clubs that play in the Hyundai A-League in Australia, as the national league in New Zealand is only Semi-professional. With the season winding down the Phoenix are in a position to not only make the 6 team playoffs, but currently would host a first round match. As well should results go in their favor in the last 2 weeks, they could earn a top-2 position.
The playoffs in Australia have an interesting setup. Those teams that finish the season in positions 3 through 6 …

Here are a few of my thoughts on the All Whites defeat in Auckland this week:

Once Ricki Herbert announced the lineup, it was apparent that main goal was to get some younger players some time on the pitch before World Cup Qualifications began. He seems to have a strong preference with the 3-4-3 formation which is a nice change of pace. While many other countries seem to be heading towards sitting back and counterattacking with a lone striker, the All Whites put 3 forwards on the field to challenge the …

With friendly matches, typically you have a major objective, and then other objectives that the coaches would like to achieve if possible. The main priority is to of course to challenge the team. What better way to do that than to face Jamaica, a team who just entered the top 50 of FIFA’s ranking. As well, this could be a team that the All Whites could face in the Intercontinental Playoffs to reach Brazil in two years. The other important part to keep in mind is that this match is …

Chile finalised their World Cup preparations with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in Ka Nyamazane today. Gonzalo Fierro and Esteban Paredes scored the goals in the small town near the Chilean base in Nelspruit.
The game was played over three periods of half an hour and Marcelo Bielsa gave the majority of his squad a chance to impress. Humberto Suazo, recently back in training after injury did not feature and Jorge Valdivia and Mark Gonzalez were rested. Waldo Ponce and Rodrigo Millar also sat out the game.
Fierro opened the scoring …

Oceanic qualifiers New Zealand have revealed their new 2010 World Cup home shirt just over a month before the tournament is due to start.
The country’s passage to the tournament has become simpler in recent years after Australia’s defection to the Asian region. This ensures that New Zealand are the strongest team in Oceania and will most likely be in a Play Off against the 5th ranked Asian team to qualify in future. The team’s history is pretty unspectacular with three appearances at the Confederations Cup and one World Cup appearance in 1982. …