The All Whites' pre-World Cup build-up in Texas has had the best possible result this afternoon; 3 News reports:
The All Whites have upset Honduras in Dallas, Texas 1-0.The New Zealand side is ranked 130th while Honduras is ranked 68 places higher at 62nd.Striker Shane Smeltz headed home a late first half cross from Jeremy Brockie to give his side the lead. The Perth Glory striker found himself unmarked in the box and went up unchallenged to direct the ball into the corner of the net.The second half say Honduras come back with plenty of fire power – cracking the woodwork twice but unable to steal a goal for the draw.It’s been nearly two years since the All Whites last registered a win – beating 15th ranked Serbia in the lead up to the 2010 Football World Cup. Three days ago the All Whites drew 1-1 with El Salvador.
Firstly, we note that the result of the El Salvador match during the week was actually a 2-all draw. But today's result is one of their better ones in recent seasons. Ricki Herbert took a young and inexperienced team to the USA, but the players have responded to the challenge suggesting that the future is bright for New Zealand football.
The All Whites now head to Brisbane where they will be joined by some of the more seasoned players ahead of the Oceania qualifiers in the Solomon Islands. And here's where the significance of their two latest matches comes in; the pathway to Brazil 2014 (after the Oceania qualifiers) will be a home-and-away series against a team from the Americas. Today's win against Honduras could be a very good dress rehearsal.