New Zealand were the surprise team to be present at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but it looks like they will not make it to the 2014 edition. They suffered a 5-1 defeat against Mexico in the first leg of the intercontinental play-offs. This result means that New Zealand must score four goals away from home and should also not concede. It is looking highly unlikely after Mexico recently appointed a new manager. The World Cup 2014 qualification campaign, thus, is looking to come to an end for New Zealand.
This will also bring an end to Ricki Herbert’s time as the national team manager. It has been a great time for New Zealand with Herbert as the main man. He has been able to astonish the world with some incredible tactical displays, which helped New Zealand get a surprise result against Spain in the last World Cup. The defensive organisation of New Zealand was highly praised, but it was not up to standard against Mexico. Herbert has been in charge of the national team since 2005, but it is now known that he will step down from his role after the second leg match.
“Ricki assumed control of the All Whites at a point of instability for our men’s national team. From the moment he stepped into the coaching role he began building and shaping a team which became one of the best sides we’ve ever had at a time when competition, in what is a truly global sport, has never been tougher. The impact Ricki has had on football in New Zealand is immense and it is testament to the fantastic job he has done,” said Hattum.
New Zealand’s FA chairman Frank van Hattum has confirmed that Herbert will not be forgotten for his exploits with the national team.