Call us raging optimists but even until the end, PUMAFootball thought (and hoped) that Les Elephants were going to come out as winners of this game. Group G – very open. Let’s see if Brazil can put on a show of samba and another magnificent performance and dance their way to victory next? Surely North Korea won’t be a problem, right?
And with the words of “magnificent performance” we catapult ourselves right into the Slovakia-New Zealand game earlier today. It was just a few seconds left and I think Slovakia felt pretty sure about winning. After all, New Zealand doesn’t even have its own league, some players are, literally, amateurs, others have been fired from their clubs, haven’t played professional football for three months - one guy hasn't been signed at a club for two years.
How on earth will they be able to even summit a single goal chance… Well hello Winston Reid. In the 93rd minute in the dying seconds of the game, Reid decided that the World Cup’s first Cinderella story should emerge (second if you count Germany’s Cacau, who played in Division 5, five years ago and scored on his first touch in his first World Cup appearance) and headed home an unbelievable draw for the All Whites.
Also very nice for coach, Ricki Herbert, whose memory of New Zealand’s last World Cup appearance in Spain, 1982, was being left out from the pitch in their opening match. But here he was, back – on the bench – and could witness a magnificent achievement for the All Whites as they secured their first ever World Cup point.