New Zealand v Peru
11 November 2017
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
World Cup Qualifier, OFC–CONMEBOL play-off first leg
Peru v New Zealand
15 November 2017
Estadio Nacional, Lima
World Cup Qualifier, OFC–CONMEBOL play-off second leg

Unofficial Football World Champions Peru face UFWC virgins New Zealand over two legs of the OFC–CONMEBOL World Cup qualification play-off. Peru haven’t qualified for the World Cup since 1982 – when they had their last reign as unofficial champions. New Zealand also qualified for the World Cup in 1982, and again in 2010. But New Zealand have never before played in an Unofficial Football World Championships title match.

For UFWC purposes, the two legs of the play-off are treated as two entirely separate matches. Whoever is the winner at the end of 90 minutes of each match will be UFWC champions. If the match is drawn after 90 minutes, the holder will retain the title. In the event of an aggregate draw, any extra time or penalties won’t affect the UFWC, as they will be used to decide the overall outcome of the two-legged play-off, and won’t affect the results of the individual matches. It is possible that either Peru or New Zealand could win the second match to become UFWC champions, but lose the play-off on aggregate and fail to qualify for the World Cup.

Peru and New Zealand have never played each other. Peru are currently ranked 10th in the world by FIFA, while New Zealand are 122nd. Peru are 22nd in the UFWC rankings, while New Zealand obviously don’t have a UFWC rank, having never played a UFWC match.

Ricardo Gareca’s Peru will be firm favourites, although La Blanquirroja have suffered a major blow ahead of the game with the loss of captain and record goalscorer Paolo Guerrero, who is suspended after failing a drug test. Guerrero claims to have been taking a flu medication. The veteran striker has long been Peru’s best player, and will be a huge miss. Fellow veteran Jefferson Farfán will look to fill Guerrero’s goalscoring boots, along with Raúl Ruidíaz and Watford’s André Carrillo. Midfielders Christian Cueva and Edison Flores will get forward and look to fill the void, too.

The New Zealand manager is Englishman Anthony Hudson, the son of former Chelsea and England star Alan Hudson. Anthony Hudson made his name in football in the US as coach Real Maryland Monarchs, before returning to England to coach Tottenham Hotspur reserves. A brief period in charge of Newport County was followed by a three-year stint with the Bahrain national team. He moved to New Zealand to manage the All Whites in 2014.

Several members of the New Zealand squad play their club football in England, including West Ham defender Winston Reid – the national team captain, Burnley striker Chris Wood, and Ipswich pair Tommy Smith and Monty Patterson. Chris Wood is the squad’s joint-top scorer (alongside Shane Smeltz) with 24 goals in 54 games, including five goals in the last five games. Goalkeeper Glen Moss, defender Andrew Durante, and midfielder Michael McGlinchey all play in the Australian A-League. Durante and McGlinchey will play the first leg at the home stadium of their club Wellington Phoenix. Michael Boxall, Kip Colvey and Bill Tuiloma play in MLS in the US. And attacking midfielder Marco Rojas plays in the Netherlands with Heerenveen.

The first match takes place in Wellington on Saturday afternoon, 11 November, with a 16:15 kick-off (03:15 on Saturday morning in the UK). The second match is in Lima four days later, on Wednesday 15 November, at 21:15 (02:15 on Thursday morning in the UK).

Both matches will be streamed live and free in the UK by [link expired]. Get more info [link expired].

We’ll have coverage of both matches right here on the UFWC website. In the meantime, if you’re new to the Unofficial Football World Championships you can find out all about the UFWC here. And you can keep up to date with all things UFWC by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

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4 thoughts on “New Zealand challenge Peru in WC / UFWC double-header

  1. Peter Waring

    Hi Paul, just read your post regarding extra time and/or penalties not counting for UFWC. I would suggest that results after extra time definitely should count, as all football statistics use results after extra time to count towards overall win/draw/loss records. For example, looking at the 2010 World Cup qualifying play-off between France and Ireland (and ignoring the controversy over the deciding goal). 1st leg was Ireland 0-1 France, 2nd leg was France 0-1 Ireland after 90 minutes, and 1-1 after extra time. In the record books, the second leg has gone down as a draw, not an Irish win. Therefore, I feel very strongly that in this case, France should leave the tie as holders (if it had been a UFWC tie, which it wasn’t!)

    I agree that if, say, NZ won the 1st leg 1-0 and Peru won the 2nd leg 1-0, Peru should leave the tie as UFWC holders, even if they subsequently lost a penalty shoot-out, as match result supercedes penalty shoot-out. If both legs finished 1-1, I would say the penalty shoot-out should count for UFWC purposes, although in this case I think a strong argument could be made either way, whereas in the case of extra-time, I don’t think it can.

    Hopefully the tie will be decided without extra time or penalties, and the issue won’t arise!

    1. Paul Brown Post author

      Hi Peter, thanks for the comment. It’s a complicated issue and I understand what you are saying. In these situations, the extra time and/or penalties are used to decide the overall outcome of the two-legged play-off, and not the outcome of the second match. The UFWC only takes into account the results of individual matches. In the France v Ireland example the second match was a 1-0 win for Ireland, and it’s technically wrong for the record books to say it was a 1-1 draw, although of course they have to record the result of the two-legged play-off. (The FIFA website says “France win on aggregate after extra time (2 – 1)”, which does clarify things.)

      If we did take into account the two-legged results, things would be even more complicated. For example, if New Zealand win the first leg 1-0 they are UFWC champs. Then Peru win the second leg 1-0, so they are UFWC champs. But what if we take into account extra time and penalties? Say NZ and Peru draw 1-1 in extra time. The aggregate score is 2-2, but the score on the day is 2-1 – so do NZ retain the title, or are Peru UFWC champs? Then NZ win the penalty shoot-out, so NZ are UFWC champs..? And you would have this argument/inconsistency going right the way back through UFWC lineage.

      Ultimately, the extra time and/or penalties here is only relevant to World Cup qualification, which doesn’t have a bearing on the UFWC. As always, not everyone will agree, but hopefully the above shows that we’re trying to keep this as simple and uncomplicated as possible.

      1. Peter Waring

        Thanks for responding. I guess you are going to have inconsistencies whatever you do. It seems to me very inconsistent that extra time and penalties count in one-leg ties but not in two-leg ties. In both cases, their only purpose is to decide which team progresses to the next stage of a competition, and they would not be necessary if the match was a league match or friendly. If one is going to say that Ireland beat France 1-0 in that 2nd leg, then surely by that same logic the result of the 1966 WC final would be 2-2? But as I say, there are always going to be inconsistencies, and you’re the boss!

        1. Paul Brown Post author

          Hi Peter. The difference is that in the 1966 WC final extra time was used to decide the outcome of that individual match. In two-legged play-offs it isn’t. Whether or not it is a tournament match or a friendly has no bearing on the UFWC. There is no inconsistency, and it’s not about me being the boss! The good thing is I don’t have to make any personal decisions, we can just apply the original UFWC rules, which do ensure consistency, and have worked pretty well so far. But let’s hope this NZ v Peru tie doesn’t go to extra time or penalties so that we don’t even have to worry about it!

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