FIFA U-17 World Cup record
India 2017 will mark New Zealand’s eighth participation in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, and their sixth in succession. It is a tournament in which New Zealand has enjoyed significant accomplishment. Their debut was at Egypt 1997 in what was one of the nation’s first FIFA competition. Two years later New Zealand played host to the tournament; the first to be held in Oceania, aside from those hosted by former OFC member Australia. New Zealand’s team at Nigeria 2009 etched their name into the nation’s football annals by becoming the first Kiwi team to progress to the knockout phase of a FIFA tournament. They repeated the feat at Mexico 2011, and then again two years ago in Chile where New Zealand suffered a 1-0 injury-time defeat against Brazil in the Round of 16.

Road to India
New Zealand claimed a sixth successive OFC U-17 Championship win but victory in Tahiti was not without its challenges. They topped their group with three successive wins, but victory in the decisive semi-final against Papua New Guinea was in doubt until injury time when New Zealand found a winner. Having secured passage to India, the Kiwis celebrated in style with an outstanding 7-0 win over New Caledonia in the final.

The coach
Danny Hay is heading to his second successive FIFA U-17 World Cup after leading the team into the last-16 at Chile 2015. This, however, will be his first full cycle with the team, having been appointed in April 2015, after the qualifying tournament. A former centre-back, Hay enjoyed a distinguished international playing career that included the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup and captaining his country.

The stat
– New Zealand scored 27 goals in just five qualifying matches, yet two of their wins were by a single goal.