Soccer: All Whites arrive in South Africa

The All Whites have travelled more than 32,000km and played three warm-up matches since leaving New Zealand less than two weeks ago. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The All Whites have travelled more than 32,000km and played three warm-up matches since leaving New Zealand less than two weeks ago. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The All Whites have arrived in South Africa, nine days out from their opening soccer World Cup match against Slovakia.

With just one training match to come against Chile on Thursday (NZT), New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert was pleased to finally touch down in South Africa and begin the final leg of the team's World Cup journey.

"We've had some pretty good preparation in Europe but we're here now and into the real thing," Herbert said on arrival at OR Tambo International airport at Johannesburg.

The team then settled into their accommodation at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate and plan to train tomorrow at nearby Sinada Stadium.

The New Zealanders open their Cup campaign against Slovakia at Rustenburg next Wednesday.

Their other group F rivals are world champions Italy and Paraguay.

The All Whites have been on the road for 18 days following a brief camp in New Zealand, travelled more than 32,000km and played three warm-up games against Australia, Serbia and Slovenia.

They began with a 1-2 loss to Australia in Melbourne before beating world No 15 Serbia 1-0 in Austria and losing 1-3 to Slovenia at Maribor last week.

- NZPA

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