The All Whites, who are at the tournament for only the second time in their history, want to prove they can compete with the big boys and a recent narrow 2-1 defeat to Australia before a 1-0 win over Serbia has given them a glimmer of hope.
Played in three 30-minute periods, the match against Chile was not classed as an official international but instead a chance for both sides to try different combinations and give fringe players time on the pitch.
Herbert took full advantage of the opportunity, making eight substitutions and three positional switches. After two even half-hour spells, Chile shaded the affair with goals from Gonzalo Fierro and Esteban Paredes in the final third.
"I think we got pretty much everything we wanted," said Herbert of the match. "The first two periods we went with a stronger side and didn't make too many changes for 60 minutes and we were very comfortable. Everybody was going to get a shot so the last 30 was always going to be tough for us so I'm very pleased."
All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen did not travel to Nelspruit but instead stayed at the team base camp near Johannesburg to recover from an ear infection. He is expected to be fit to play Slovakia in Rustenburg on 15 June in their opening Group F game.
New Zealand will face defending champions Italy, Slovakia and Paraguay in Group F.