Football friendly

The All Whites will play against Japan and China in March, beginning its build-up towards qualifying for the 214 World Cup in Brazil. Coach Ricki Herbert said that New Zealand will play China in the southern city of Nanning on March 25 and Japan, probably in Tokyo, on March 29. Herbert said the matches were “really important” because the winner of the next Oceania World Cup qualifying series will face home-and-away matches against the fifth-ranked Asian nation in the second stage of qualifying, as it had for this year’s World Cup in South Africa. The 21 FIFA World Cup New Zealand team is one of only six in the history of the Cup to have remained unbeaten through a World Cup Finals competition without winning the trophy.

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