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New Zealand celebrate Shane Smeltz's goal.

FIFA World Cup™ finals history
New Zealand have competed in two FIFA World Cups in 1982 and 2010. The Kiwis played a then-record 15 matches to qualify for Spain ‘82, in an epic campaign which included a remarkable 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in Riyadh when anything less would have resulted in elimination. In Spain they suffered three losses in an extremely tough group alongside USSR, Scotland and an imperious Brazil. Their qualification for South Africa 2010 was less dramatic but equally tense, defeating Bahrain 1-0 on aggregate in the intercontinental play-off. Remarkably, New Zealand remained undefeated at South Africa 2010 – the only side in the 32-nation field to do so – with draws against Slovakia, Paraguay and 2006 world champions Italy.

*The team *
The All Whites have undergone a significant regeneration under new coach Anthony Hudson, with most of their familiar names no longer involved. A young team, the Kiwis aim to play a higher tempo and more attacking brand of football than may have typically been the case. In the likes of Marco Rojas and Kosta Barbarouses they possess personnel equipped for the new direction, with the team boasting significant speed and x-factor in attack.

The coach
Anthony Hudson was a surprise selection as national team coach when he assumed the reins from the long-serving Ricki Herbert in 2014 at the age of just 33. Son of former well-known English professional Alan, Hudson had previously enjoyed a brief stint as head coach of Bahrain. Hudson immediately cast his stamp on the side by significantly changing the personnel and playing style.

The stat
– The number of years between New Zealand’s two World Cup appearances in 1982 and 2010.

The f*ormer stars*
Wynton Rufer, Steve Sumner, Steve Wooddin, Ryan Nelsen