New Zealand lose to Peru

New Zealand’s All Whites had a praised 0-0 home draw in the first leg of a Football World Cup qualifier, but were undone 0-2 by Peru in Lima. Given the big difference in world rankings this was creditable albeit disappointing loss for New Zealand.

It was always going to be difficult for the All Whites. They don’t have the benefit of playing much together – whoever happens to be available are collected from around the world not long before big games. This is far from ideal for team building.

Peru was ecstatic, it will mean their first world cup appearance for three decades. Reports suggest it was a deserved win for them. Good on them.

The All Whites are likely to continue to struggle in a very competitive football world, with our best players spread around the globe. They are ranked currently 122 – Peru is 10, so a two nil loss doesn’t seem too bad.

 

New Zealand v Peru

The much lower ranked New Zealand football team has been praised for holding Peru to a 0-0 draw in Wellington in the first leg of a world cup qualifier.  So the teams have flown to Peru for the second and deciding leg on Thursday.

New Zealand will still be underdogs, but they are in with a feasible chance.

NZH: What the All Whites need to do to qualify for the World Cup

They will be heading into Thursday’s second leg in Lima having kept a crucial clean sheet at home.

Here’s what the All Whites need to do to in the second leg to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year.

Benefit from the away goals rule

The All Whites will progress to the World Cup finals with any kind of win on Thursday, whether it comes during normal time, extra time or penalties.

But thanks to the away goals rule, they could also make it through with a draw.

World Cup playoff ties are decided by the aggregate score over two legs. But in the event of a draw, the team that scores more away goals will qualify.

This means the only score that will lead to extra time and potentially penalties will be another goalless draw after 90 minutes.

By not conceding at home in the first leg, the All Whites will take a slight advantage into the second leg – knowing that any goals scored in Lima will also act as a tiebreaker.

If the score does remain 0-0 at the end of normal time in the second leg, the match will go into extra time where the away goals rule will still apply. If the match is still goalless after that, the tie will be decided by a penalty shootout.

So a draw will get New Zealand through as long as they score at least one goal. That will still be very difficult against Peru, as will limiting Peru to scoring no more goals than New Zealand, but the dream is alive.