April 20, 2011
AUCKLAND – The All Whites’ simmering rivalry with the Socceroos will boil over again on June 5 with confirmation today of a trans-Tasman international to be played at the Adelaide Oval.
The trans-Tasman rivals will meet in the South Australian capital, just three days after the All Whites play Mexico in Denver at altitude on June 2 (NZT).
It means a tough travel schedule for the All Whites in between, departing from Colorado the evening after the Mexico clash and only arriving in Australia the day before the Adelaide match.
New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert says the travel demands were weighed up against the benefits of playing two teams in the top 30 of FIFA’s world rankings.
“Opportunities for high quality internationals can be limited and it’s vitally important to get international exposure for all of our players, but especially the new blood, and against tough teams,” Herbert said.
“Any time together as a group is also crucial.
“Yes, it’s a demanding turnaround but New Zealand Football have done what they can to minimise the stress of travel, and the group of players we have has shown themselves to be both resilient and passionate about representing New Zealand.
“We don’t know which part of the world our qualification path will end in so it’s important that as part of our preparations for FIFA World Cup qualifying we taste different environments until we know for sure where that path leads.”
In July, FIFA will conduct a draw determining whether the winner of New Zealand’s Oceania group will play off against Asian, North American or South American opposition over two legs for a place in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Prior to last May’s World Cup warm-up in Melbourne – won 2-1 by Australia with an injury time winner from Brett Holman – the two sides had not met since 2005, but a second meeting in 12 months gives New Zealand another chance to claim a rare scalp against an Australian side ranked 20th in the world.
“Whatever game you play and no matter our global it is; New Zealanders love to see their team upset the Aussies.
“It’s a rivalry every kiwi can plug into, and it’s great to see it being played more regularly.”
Mexico v New Zealand
INVESCO Field at Mile High
8pm, June 1, 2011 (2pm, June 2 NZT)
Australia v New Zealand
June 5, 2011