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Italy draw has stopped our nation - NZ coach Herbert

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert believes that last night's determined 1-1 draw with world champions Italy has stopped a nation. The All Whites produced a tough, spirited performance to hold a more talented team and grab a second point in Group F and Herbert was jubilant after the match, saying it was more than he could have dreamed of.

"I think it has stopped the nation. I think it is the most incredible result we've had," he said.

"I know it is early in the morning in New Zealand but I think there will be a lot of excitement back home.

"It's more than anything we have achieved in the history of the game. I think it will be embraced enormously.

"A lot of people felt we shouldn't be in the World Cup or felt the way we qualified was easy. You can write your stories now," he added.

"I don't think anyone remotely gave us a chance. We are doing okay for a team that supposedly has some amateurs and shouldn't be in the World Cup."

New Zealand take on group leaders Paraguay in Polokwane on Thursday and need a win if they are to qualify for the Round of 16 for the first time ever.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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