WELLINGTON - World Cup quarter-finalists
Paraguay will play both Australia and New Zealand in
friendlies in October, New Zealand Football (NZF) and Football
Federation Australia (FFA) said on Friday.
The South Americans, who drew 0-0 with New Zealand in the
World Cup in South Africa before advancing to the knockout
stages where they lost to eventual champions Spain, play
Australia on October 9 in Sydney before meeting the All Whites on
A venue is still to be confirmed for the New Zealand match,
though NZF said they expected to finalise an agreement with a
venue within the next 10 days.
Both Australia and New Zealand will use the matches as
their official "welcome homes" for their respective teams
following the World Cup, which finished in July.
The Socceroos will also use the match as preparation for
next January's Asian Cup tournament in Qatar.
New Zealand confounded most pundits' expectations in South
Africa by finishing the tournament as the only unbeaten side,
although they failed to advance out of their group after three
"To have a World Cup quarter-finalist playing in New
Zealand so close to the FIFA World Cup is a real coup," NZF
chief executive Michael Glading said.
"Bringing a top 20 team has not always been viable in the
past but football's stock is rising and this match is a chance
to keep that World Cup momentum going."
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