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The Game of Their Lives

Te Mata Peak from Tuki Tuki Road, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 22 November 2005

Often building up to the World Cup, I referred to New Zealand’s national team as the Killer Kiwis.  This was of course a sarcastic term used to poke fun at the rugby nations inferior soccer team, but following two matches in the event New Zealand has proven myself and every other World Cup critic wrong.

Their first draw against Slovakia was overlooked because the squad scored in extra time and most analysts claimed that the draw was extremely lucky because of this last second heroism.  But the Killer Kiwis (they have rightfully earned the nickname now) gave every soccer dad in the world the proper Father’s Day gift by outplaying Italy and settling for a 1-1 draw.  In fact young Chris Wood, all of 18 years old, nearly finished off the defending champs when he buzzed the goal post in the remaining few minutes.

But the All Whites are a breath of fresh air in a tournament of whiny powerhouses(see France’s article on the PLTO).  The team plays together and despite not having one single big league superstar they are still finding ways to battle opponents to hard earned draws.  If they can find a way to beat first place Paraguay in their final match then the rugby influenced nation would secure their first ever second round berth in the World Cup.

And one Yank claimed months back that the chances of that happening were as good as my hopes of a date with Megan Fox.  Well she hasn’t picked up the phone yet (and actually was engaged earlier in the week), but with the Kiwis promising start there just might be a chance.

Not betting on it, but you never know where you could find the young starlet.  Take this random field as an example.

 photo credit: PhillipC

  

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