Saturday 27 May 2017
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The offspring of a customized orbiter
Angolan Supporters Angolan football supporters and the Palancas Negras (The Black Antelopes) have succeeded in the placing the name of Angola on the football map since 1982. Since their apperance in the World Cup (Germany 2006) Angola is gradually emerging as a promising side.
Nigerian Football Team Football fans will not forget nostalic memories of Nigeria's glorious days when the Eagles boasted of the mesmorising talent of Austin Jayjay Okocha and the defence barrier provided by Sunday Oliseh Rashidi Yekini as the scoring machine upfront.
Egyptian Football Team The pharaoh of Egypt, the African cup holder are the most successful team (6 titles) that the continental competition has ever recorded. Regrettably Pharaohs' failed to qualify for South Africa 2010. This lack of form questione their readiness.
Ghanian Fans Ghanaian football fans are the fact that Black stars have given a good account of themselves in matches. Stars have been enjoying massive support from fans. By all account, the soccer fever sweeping the nation surpasses even the heydays of Ghanaian football.
Cameroun Football Team Cameroun emerges as a football force in Africa and has been able to set a number of records at the World Cup. The Indomitable Lions particpated in the World Cup 5 times (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002); and first African team to reach the quarter finals.

New Zealand has not been a very good team as far as World cup is concerned and has appeared on stage only once in 1982 in Spain where they were eliminated at  the group stage.

In the World Cup qualifying race, they had little trouble in winning the four-team final phase in Oceania with a two-legged playoff against fifth-placed Asian side Bahrain. They defended in numbers in the 0-0 draw in Manama. More attack-minded in Wellington with Rory Fallon's first-half header the decider though needed a second-half penalty save from goalkeeper Mark Paston to ensure qualification with the 1-0 win.

 COACH:  Ricki Herbert. The perm-headed central defender who was at the heart of New Zealand's defence for nine years, including the World Cup campaign in 1981-82. He was appointed All Whites assistant coach in 2003 under Mick Waitt before he took the top job in 2005. He was also coach of the Wellington Phoenix in Australia's A-League. Publicly stoic and unemotional, he has imbued the team with a burning passion and desire, characteristic of his no-nonsense playing career.

KEY PLAYERS:

Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers): Aged 32 and plays at the defence. He is widely considered New Zealand's best player since Wynton Rufer. Achieved a political science degree from the prestigious Stanford University in the United States before playing four seasons with D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Transferred to Blackburn Rovers in 2005 on an 18-month contract that was extended after an impressive first season where he had become a mainstay of the defence. A vastly experienced and calming influence, who sets the tone for the team.

Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United): Aged 28 and plays forward. He bounced around Australia's professional leagues and in England's lower leagues before finding his feet with the Wellington Phoenix. Named Oceania's Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008, and won the A-League's Golden Boot in 2008/09. Good instinct for goal, works hard and links well with the midfield.

Simon Elliott (San Jose Earthquakes): Aged 35 and plays at the Midfielder. Vastly experienced having spent most of his professional career in the US, though a 2-1/2-year stint at Fulham in the Premier League was curtailed by a serious calf injury. Primarily a defensive midfielder he forms a tough backbone of the team with Nelsen. Will need to be at his best in South Africa to support the defence and provide ball for his more attacking counterparts.

Prospects:

New Zealand is presently 77th on FIFA ranking table. Having spent 28 years in the World Cup wilderness they will give it their all, though they are unlikely to advance out of the group. Technically not as sound as most of their rivals and lack burning pace. Securing their first point from a World Cup finals match would be a major boost for the team and the sport in rugby-mad New Zealand.

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