WELLINGTON - New Zealand and Australia
will resume their trans-Tasman rivalry when the two sides meet
in an international football friendly in June, New Zealand
Football (NZF) said on Wednesday.
The two sides last met in a friendly before both went to the
2010 World Cup finals, with the Socceroos winning the match at
the Melbourne Cricket Ground 2-1. Prior to the match last May,
however, they had not met since 2005.
"Whatever game you play and no matter how global it is; New
Zealanders love to see their team upset the Aussies," All Whites
coach Ricki Herbert said in a NZF statement.
"It's a rivalry every Kiwi can plug into, and it's great to
see it being played more regularly."
The All Whites will have to travel back from Denver in the
United States, where they are playing Mexico on June 1, for
their match against the Socceroos on June 5 in Adelaide.
"Opportunities for high quality internationals can be limited
and it's vitally important to get international exposure for all
of our players, but especially the new blood, and against tough
teams," Herbert said.
"Any time together as a group is also crucial.
"Yes, its a demanding turnaround but New Zealand Football
have done what they can to minimise the stress of travel, and
the group of players we have has shown themselves to be both
resilient and passionate about representing New Zealand."
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