New Zealand bank­ing on Cham­pi­onship play­ers

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World Cup -

RICKI Her­bert is hop­ing Ply­mouth’s Rory Fal­lon and Mid­dles­bor­ough’s Chris Killen can de­liver the goals to give New Zealand a World Cup to re­mem­ber.

Fal­lon and Killen were named up front in the side to face Slo­vakia in to­day’s Group F match in the Royal Bafo­keng sta­dium in a team which also con­tained cap­tain Ryan Nelsen from Black­burn and Tommy Smith from Ip­swich.

New Zealand head coach Her­bert wants more from the 2010 tour­na­ment than the sou­venir he re­ceived from the nation’s only pre­vi­ous en­counter at the World Cup fi­nals in 1982.

Her­bert, a cen­tral de­fender who played for Wolves in the mid-1980s, still has the shirt of Brazil star Socrates hang­ing up in his home in New Zealand, a legacy of a 4-0 de­feat by Brazil in a group phase when they lost all three matches.

Vic­tory over Slo­vakia would give New Zealand their first-ever World Cup tri­umph and Her­bert said: “It’s been a long time, 28 years, and it’s good to be back.

“It’s a dis­tant me­mory but a fond me­mory. I have still got the shirt and hope­fully he’s still got mine. It was great. They fielded their best 11 against us and it was ar­guably the best Brazil­ian team they have ever put on the park.

“The play­ers have worked hard to bring the nation to a World Cup and it’s a spe­cial time for New Zealand. We’re in re­ally good space and just itch­ing to get our World Cup cam­paign un­der way.”

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