Saturday night saw over 35000 people pile in to Westpac Stadium in Wellington to see New Zealand overcome Bahrain by one goal to nil and in doing so qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This is a feat that the All Whites have only achieved once before – back in ’82 – and so naturally, the football fans of New Zealand (myself included) are on a massive high right about now, it was a fantastic night for all involved.
However, sights will now inevitably turn to the World Cup itself and while of course not even the most optimistic fans will expect a New Zealand victory or even qualification from the group stages, there’s still a danger that sights could be set too high. Ricki Herbert acknowledged that he has no designs on winning the competition but did suggest in one of his many post-match interviews (I can’t find a source I’m afraid) that they would cause a few upsets along the way. It’s great to see him in such confident spirits, but a reality check could be prudent.