Rea­sons to be­lieve in a NZ mir­a­cle

Weekend Herald - - Football -


Welling­ton weather is un­pre­dictable, and if the wind blows it can be hellish for vis­it­ing teams. Es­pe­cially at West­pac Sta­dium, where the de­sign and prox­im­ity to the har­bour can cre­ate a wicked, swirling ef­fect. Peru’s fi­nesse could be com­pro­mised in a gale. Peru have been dogged by ill-for­tune and bad luck over the past few decades, and have con­stantly fallen short and been be­set by scan­dals. Get­ting past the 122nd-ranked team in the world for a place in the World Cup should be rel­a­tively straight for­ward, but Peru fans won’t be­lieve it un­til it hap­pens.

Chris Wood

Some of the best de­fences in the English Pre­mier League haven’t been able to stop Wood. He can hurt op­po­si­tion teams in many ways, as he has a pow­er­ful shot off ei­ther foot, is strong in the air and has a poacher’s in­stinct in the box.

Best All Whites since...

Ar­guably the best All Whites XI since the 2010 World Cup. Reid, Tommy Smith and Michael Box­all com­pare favourably with any cen­tral de­fen­sive trio since that tour­na­ment, while Ryan Thomas is al­ready one of the most pol­ished mid­field­ers in a gen­er­a­tion. Chris Wood is in ca­reer best form.

Peru pres­sure

Al­though there are play­ing it down, the pres­sure on Peru will be un­bear­able. The na­tion has waited 35 years to re­turn to a World Cup, which has been a source of great angst and de­spair in the An­dean coun­try. It’s not even close to New Zealand’s 24-year drought be­tween Rugby World Cup tro­phies.

Long haul travel

Peru have never had to travel this far for a game of foot­ball. While cir­cling the globe is stan­dard prac­tice for the All Whites, Peru’s matches are usu­ally con­fined to South Amer­ica.Lorem

Win­ston Reid

The pres­ence of Reid adds im­mensely to the All Whites’s be­lief, and their de­fen­sive strength. Due to var­i­ous fac­tors he’s played only five in­ter­na­tional games in the last three years. He is mo­ti­vated to per­form on a big stage in front of New Zealand fans.

Guer­rero fac­tor No 2

Paolo Guer­rero’s sus­pen­sion caused shock­waves in Peru. He is the heart and soul of the team and a truly world class player. He is their all time lead­ing scorer and cap­tain. Peru have other ca­pa­ble strik­ers, but no one like El Depere­dor

(The Preda­tor)

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