WC2010 review: New Zealand

One of the surprise packets of the World Cup, New Zealand took all before them to announce their arrival on the world stage.

Despite not progressing to the second phase with an unbeaten record, the All Whites made plenty of people sit up and take notice, grabbing points off reigning world champions Italy, Slovakia and Paraguay when they were supposed to be the easy beats of the group.

A brilliant overall defensive effort led by inspirational skipper Ryan Nelsen and young gun Winston Reid was the catalyst for their fantastic performance which can only benefit the game in the island nation.

Finished: 22nd
Record: Wins – 0; Draws – 3; Losses – 0; Points – 3
Matches: Slovakia (1-1), Italy (1-1), Paraguay (0-0)
Goals: 2
Against: 2

tribalfootball.com’s Star Man
Ryan Nelsen (Was a colossus in defence and led his team with confidence and assuredness)

Official statistics

Minutes played
Mark Paston 270
Leo Bertos 270
Simon Elliott 270
Ryan Nelsen 270
Tony Lochhead 270
Shane Smeltz 270
Tommy Smith 270
Winston Reid 270

Top scorers
Shane Smeltz 1
Winston Reid 1

Total shots
Shane Smeltz 6
Chris Killen 3

Pass Completion Rate
Ryan Nelsen 79%
Simon Elliott 70%
Tommy Smith 65%

Most Fouls
Rory Fallon 15
Chris Killen 13
Tony Lochhead 5

Yellow cards
Ryan Nelsen 2
Winston Reid 1
Tommy Smith 1
Tony Lochhead 1
Rory Fallon 1

Red cards

Mark Paston 12