New Zealand sweat on Reid fitness ahead of World Cup playoff – Reuters

Posted: June 11, 2022 at 2:00 am

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifying Playoffs - Peru v New Zealand - National Stadium, Lima, Peru - November 14, 2017. New Zealand player Winston Reid attends a press conference at National Stadium. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo


June 10 (Reuters) - New Zealand are sweating on the fitness of Winston Reid ahead of next week's World Cup playoff against Costa Rica after the experienced defender missed Thursday's scoreless draw with Oman in a warm-up friendly.

Bill Tuiloma captained the team in Reid's absence as the All Whites took on the Omanis behind closed doors in Qatar, where they will meet Costa Rica next Tuesday with a spot at this year's World Cup finals on the line.

Reid was suffering from a groin issue, but coach Danny Hay said he was confident the 33-year-old former West Ham United centre back would be fit for the clash in Al Rayyan.


"He's had more injuries probably than I've had warm dinners over the last couple of years, so he knows his body really well," Hay told reporters.

"The medical staff are confident as well. We'll just obviously wrap a little bit of cotton wool around him over the next couple of days and then start ramping it up towards matchday."

Hay made nine changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Peru in Barcelona last Sunday in their first warm-up for the intercontinental playoff.

Despite creating the majority of scoring chances at Doha's Education City Stadium, the New Zealanders were unable to find the net for the second successive match.

"It served its purpose. It was an opportunity to give players minutes and that's exactly what it did," Hay added.

"We come out of it injury-free which is the most important thing. We created a number of opportunities and probably should have been up two or three goals at half-time."

New Zealand have previously qualified twice for the World Cup finals, most recently in South Africa in 2010 when they went home unbeaten after drawing all three of their group matches.


Reporting by Nick Mulvenneydit; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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New Zealand sweat on Reid fitness ahead of World Cup playoff - Reuters

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