All Whites light up Cup - world press

The All Whites' historic effort has put even Aussie-Kiwi jealousies aside, with one poll saying three of four Australians believe New Zealand can continue their dream run and reach the finals round.

New Zealand got its first-ever World Cup point overnight after drawing with Slovakia, and the team says its goal is to get through its pool to the final 16.

The Sydney Morning Herald today asked on its website: "Are the All Whites capable of emulating the Socceroos of 2006?" - referring to Australia's run to the second round four years ago.

Thousands answered "yes". Seventy-three per cent of more than 3000 respondents picked the response: "Yes, they got lucky at the right time and can push through."

Only 27 per cent said: "No, they are pretenders and will falter in their last two games."

In Britain, the Guardian newspaper said Winston Reid's last-minute equaliser "set the World Cup alight at last".

"The tournament has been startled," the Guardian said after the match against widely-favoured Slovakia.

"Nobody supposed this would be the fixture to set the World Cup alight at last."

The newspaper wrote that much of the tournament had so far been tepid, as was the All Whites game till the drama in stoppage time.

"Herbert's men continued to be engaging for the spirit that ensured there would be no collapse and the ultimate reward was handsome," it said.

"The doggedness was a credit to Herbert's squad, who did not flinch after the second-half opener from Robert Vittek."

ESPN also said the match had "set the tournament alight" and quoted coach Ricki Herbert that the All Whites had "thrown some really good punches".

"Given what his side had just achieved, you could forgive Herbert getting ahead of himself," the United States sports broadcaster said.

The New York Times covered the New Zealand-Slovakia game with live updates and ended with an ecstatic post after the 94th minute:

"Amazing!

"Winston Reid scores a goal in injury time to give New Zealand a tie in this game! Reid, a fullback, rose up and pounded a header from a deep cross into the bottom right corner of the goal. WOW."

The All Whites' Facebook page has been receiving a congratulatory comment every two minutes.

Samantha Laming wrote: "YUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. REID IS A LEGEND!!!"

"WELL DONE, YOU ROCK!! Could you personally thank Winston for the removing of his shirt? I know it's a booking against the team, but that was the cherry on the top!!! hehehe :)," said Jess Bridson.

The Sydney Morning Herald, meanwhile, said: "From villain to hero, Winston Reid did for New Zealand what no one could do for Australia."

Twitter has seen a barrage of comments about the All Whites, including one notable message by GeelongDeano: "OMFG that is rubbing salt in. New Zealand 1 Slovakia 1. The kiwis are doing better than the aussies. Need to avoid kiwis at work today."

Congratulations from around the world have flowed into nzherald.co.nz's message board.

Roberto, from Uruguay, wrote: "Way to go! I was rooting so hard for you guys! I jumped off the couch to celebrate! Congratulations from an Uruguayan Fan."

Daniel, from Brazil, said: "Go all whites, hope you guys get as far as you can, always doing your best. Cheers from a brazilian who loved and loves new zealand still."

And from London, Ian wrote in: "F-a-n-t-a-s-t-I-c! Wonderful result for the better side. Keep the spirits high. From Ian watching in London."

The Times of London highlighted Reid's story in its coverage, saying how he had only joined the squad at the last minute - and now had "sparked delirium" among New Zealanders.

"Winston Reid was not even eligible to play for New Zealand until a few weeks ago. Now he is a national icon," it said.

"The former Denmark under-21 international was left unmarked to head in a 93rd-minute equaliser from Shane Smeltz's cross that sparked delirium among the Kiwis and devastation for Slovakia."

- NZ HERALD STAFF

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