Soccer: Wellington to host World Cup qualifier

The All Whites will play their Intercontinental Playoff to reach the World Cup Finals at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Photo / Getty Images.
The All Whites will play their Intercontinental Playoff to reach the World Cup Finals at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Photo / Getty Images.

The All Whites will play their Intercontinental Playoff to reach the World Cup Finals at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

New Zealand Football today confirmed that Wellington had beaten Auckland in an extremely close bid and will host the match on Wednesday 20 November 2013.

Wellington holds happy memories for the All Whites. It was there the All Whites clinched their place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, winning 1-0 against Bahrain in November 2009.

All Whites coach Ricki Herbert is thrilled that the game will take place in Wellington and urges the fans to get behind the team once again and help the players reach Brazil 2014.

"The Bahrain game was a special occasion and a big part of that result was the atmosphere and support of the fans at the game.

"The crowd really were the 12th man for that game and we wouldn't have won that game without them. We need that support again."

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Capital is ecstatic over news that the home leg of the Intercontinental Playoff has been awarded to Wellington.

"Today we've confirmed another shot for glory," said Mayor Wade-Brown. "Wellington has the best stadium, the best chance of a capacity crowd and therefore the best chance of an All Whites victory.

"This is a great opportunity for Wellington and for New Zealand football. Our enthusiastic crowd will give the All Whites the best chance for the qualifier."

Councillor John Morrison, sports portfolio leader, advised fans to book early.

"The full-house signs will be out again for this match - and anyone who was at the Bahrain game will remember the noise was deafening as the fans urged the All Whites to the win that took them to South Africa.

"Now's our chance to send them on their way to Brazil."

New Zealand Football Chairman Frank van Hattum said the bids from Wellington and Auckland were extremely close.

"The two bids from Auckland and Wellington were exceptional in what they offered and the final decision as to the host city was very close. I'd like to thank Auckland for their outstanding bid.

"Wellington will be a great host for what promises to be another special night for New Zealand Football.

"The atmosphere for the game against Bahrain was incredible and I know that not only Wellington but all of New Zealand will get behind the All Whites to create another memorable night that fans will remember for the rest of their lives."

The All Whites most-capped player and NZPFA board member Ivan Vicelich says the players are delighted with the decision.

"Wellington holds great memories for the players and fans who witnessed something very special vs Bahrain in 2009. We're focussed and determined to replicate that performance in November," he says.

From today fans can sign up to a waiting list at www.ticketek.co.nz giving them the opportunity to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public. Ticket prices will be announced shortly.

The All Whites will face the team placed fourth in the CONCACAF qualification group. Honduras currently lies in fourth place with each team still to play four games.

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