Mixed feelings over Play-Off opposition for All White
Tommy Smith is feeling bittersweet about a World Cup Play-Off against Peru, with New Zealand narrowly avoiding a mammoth clash against Argentina and Lionel Messi.
The Argentines scraped through to qualify automatically for the finals in Russia, meaning the All Whites will face Peru in a two-legged tie for a spot at the 2018 tournament.
“It could have been worse, or better in some ways, had we got Argentina” Tommy told the Club website.
“It’s bittersweet because although it would have been an incredibly difficult tie, it can be nice to test yourself against the world’s best, like Messi of course, and see where you’re at.
“But the lads behind the scenes will have done all their homework on Peru as we didn’t know who we would get. They’re a good side but we’re quietly confident we can give them a tough time.
“Any player aspires to play at a World Cup and this is the last hurdle so we’ll do everything we can to make it happen.”
The first leg of New Zealand’s clash is in Wellington on Saturday, November 11 with the return in Lima four days later.