As the All Whites prepare to take on Korea tonight (12am NZT), football writer Michael Burgess looks at five key aspects.
Little joy against Korea
The All Whites don't have a great record against the Reds. They have lost five of the seven matches between the two sides, and their last win came in 1980, a 2-1 victory in Kuala Lumpur. The best result since then was a 0-0 draw in Palmerston North in 2000, and the All Whites have scored just one goal in the previous five encounters. It's been a similar story for the age group men, with the Oly-Whites, Junior All Whites and Under-17's yet to record a win in across eight attempts.
Perhaps tonight is the beginning of a new chapter for Marco Rojas. For the first time in almost two years he has come into an All Whites camp with games under his belt and injury free. The 23-year-old former A League player of the year has trained well and could be ready to bring some of his best form back to the international stage.
Scorers in short supply
Anthony Hudson's side will take the field tonight with only three players who have scored in an international match. Chris Wood (13 goals), Michael McGlinchey (3) and Rojas (1) are the only members of this New Zealand squad who know the feeling of finding the net at international level.
Unlucky number seven?
The man wearing the number seven shirt for Korea tonight poses the greatest threat to the All Whites. Son Heung-min is a world class talent, recently signed by Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen for a club record 10 million Euros. He has already scored 10 international goals, including the equaliser in January's Asian Cup final. The 22-year-old is fast and skilful, with a lethal finish off either foot.
Fears for the flanks
Despite the absence of many recognised names, the spine of this All Whites team looks very solid. Bill Tuiloma, McGlinchey and Rojas are a strong central midfield trio and Wood will lead the line well. Michael Boxall has improved immensely over the past few seasons and Themistoklis Tzimopoulos has looked accomplished in training. But the Korean side will definitely target the All Whites flanks, with Storm Roux, Deklan Wynne, Ryan De Vries, Clayton Lewis and Tyler Boyd all international rookies.
Korean icon bids farewell
The game is an extra special occasion for the Korean side, as one of their most popular players will play his last game for the national team. Cha Du-ri was first picked for Korea as an amateur player in 2001 and is the only survivor from the legendary 2002 team that reached the World Cup semi finals. His father Cha Bum-Kun is the Korean equivalent of Wynton Rufer, the first player from that country to prosper in European football and regarded as the Asian player of the 20th century.
*Michael Burgess travelled to Korea with the support of ASB Bank, the principal partner of New Zealand Football.