New Zealand pulled one of the performances of the tournament that should put African nations to shame. The white All Whites who are basically amateurs scored an early goal against the World Champions.
Considering the talent of Eto’o, Steven Pienaar, Yekubu and Obafemi Martins, New Zealanders are really nothing in football. They were an organised and patient unit with purpose to perform for their country.
Even with the protection of the shameful Guatemalan referee who donated an undeserved soft penalty to Italy, the All Whites stood resolute and made the impossible. They refused to be frustrated and kept cool heads.
The basic strength of the underdogs was the refusal to be intimidated. They were a joy to watch, fighting for each other, keeping as much personnel between the ball and the goal.
Italy tried to increase the tempo of their attacks, making errors which the New Zealanders were happy to deal with. With all their ball possession and technical quality, Italy could only hit against an oiled amateur wall of New Zealand.
New Zealand had even a luxury to miss a seater, a unluckly shot that curled away from the post with the goalkeeper well beaten. With a unbribed referee, New Zealand could have got a penalty of their own when an attacker was given a wrestling close-line in the penalty area.
If there is a positive to take in this 2010 FIFA World Cup, it is the refreshing effort of New Zealand and to them, HALAALAA!