Peru fret over Ki­wis’ height ahead of de­cider

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LIMA: New Zealand’s tow­er­ing striker Chris Wood is set to start today’s de­ci­sive World Cup play­off match against Peru and the hosts are con­cerned about the size of their op­po­nents all over the pitch.

The five Kiwi de­fend­ers who started Satur­day’s 0-0 first-leg draw mea­sured an av­er­age 1.84 me­tres, while the four Peru­vians who played up front against them were on av­er­age 10 cm shorter.

“The fact is that this game is go­ing to be as hard and com­pli­cated as the game was in New Zealand be­cause it’s not easy to play against the walls that make up their de­fence,” Peru striker Jef­fer­son Far­fan said.

The Peru­vians have been fret­ting over the ap­pear­ance of the 1.91 me­tre Wood, who came on with 15 min­utes re­main­ing in the first leg and caused prob­lems for the vis­i­tors’ de­fence.

But Far­fan, who is 1.78 me­tres tall, was can­did about the task of fac­ing such burly op­po­nents.

“They’ll surely be pre­pared in Lima but we have to go out there to break down that de­fen­sive line any way we can,” the Loko­mo­tiv Moscow player said.

“It won’t be easy but we’ve fought so hard to have this chance of qual­i­fy­ing for the World Cup that we can’t not take ad­van­tage.”

The win­ners of today’s in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal play­off in Lima will progress to next year’s World Cup in Rus­sia.

New Zealand ex­pect to have Burn­ley striker Wood on from the start af­ter a ham­string in­jury re­stricted him to a sub­sti­tute ap­pear­ance in Welling­ton.

Peru are still with­out the sus­pended Paolo Guer­rero as they at­tempt to reach the fi­nals for the first time since 1982. Reuters

New Zealand’s Chris Wood

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.