Tag: New Zealand

World Cup 2010: Paraguay 0-0 New Zealand

If you’d told New Zealand beforehand that they’d go through the group unbeaten and finish above Italy, I daresay they’d have settled for that. And they’d be right to feel pretty pleased with themselves, but they’ll be frustrated that it wasn’t enough to get them through, and they go home as just the sixth team in World Cup history to be eliminated despite not losing a game. (Trivia time: how many of the other five can you name? Answers below.)

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World Cup 2010: Italy 1-1 New Zealand

When the World Cup was expanded to twenty-four nations for the tournament in Spain in 1982, the decision didn’t come without criticism. Some of it was reserved for the fact that twenty-four nations meant that the tournament had to take an almost absurd looking shape with two group stages (which was jettisoned after one tournament), but the majority of it was reserved for the notion that an expanded World Cup finals would lead to lopsided matches, with new teams getting thrashed out of sight by the old guard. The transitional period was  difficult one (El Salvador’s 10-1 defeat at the hands of Hungary springs immediately to mind) but, over all, this expansion was required to make football more of a global game. The 1982 World Cup finals was significant for both of this afternoon’s teams, but for vastly different reasons. For New Zealand, this was their first (and until this year only) appearance in the finals of the World Cup. In a difficult group with Brazil, the Soviet Union and Scotland, their record of no wins with two goals scored and twelve conceded may look poor, but it was a primarily semi-professional and amateur team playing three teams that (with varying degrees of delusion) had aspirations of winning the competition. Those days are long gone. New Zealand arrived for the 2010 World Cup with a bang, a last minute...

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World Cup 2010: New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia

Having given the television coverage a review/kicking over the weekend, it’s time to take a look at the radio coverage of this World Cup. Ian Dennis is our host, and Jacqui Oatley and Graham Taylor are our commentary team for the opening stages, with Dennis taking over. Oatley is one of three prominent ladies at the World Cup, alongside Gabby Logan, and ITV’s Kelly Cates. Logan and Cates are more high profile, but considering most of the games that we’ve had so far, Oatley has considerably the toughest job of the three. It’s easy to report from the England camp, it’s interesting to go round the country and see how the fans are experiencing, but commentating on the standard of football we’ve had so is a challenge for the most experienced of commentators. This is the most important position a woman’s going to get until we get female officials at the World Cup. The best Britain has to offer as an official is Amy Fearn (nee Rayner), who initially seemed to be fast- tracked, and has now seemingly hit a glass ceiling – having seen her referee and run the line in recent seasons, that can be the only reason that she is not refereeing in the Football League on a regular basis. The highest a woman has reached is Nelly Viennot, a Frenchwoman, who was a UEFA assistant...

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World Cup Preview: Group F

The 2010 World Cup kicks off in just three weeks time, so by this point the majority of football fans everywhere are only using products made by official tournament sponsors and eating impala for breakfast. Our intrepid Wikipedia monkey Dotmund has once again put his vuvuzela aside for just long enough to take a look at another of this summer’s groups. Today we find out about the reigning champions, a South American dark horse, a team from a very long way away and a European team who have only ever been in the World Cup before in disguise.

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The World Cup Of National Anthems (Part Three)

For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity.

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