The New Zealand World Cup dream is still very much alive after the All Whites battled to a 0-0 draw against Peru in Wellington yesterday.
They will be heading into Thursday's second leg in Lima having kept a crucial clean sheet at home - thanks in large part to a spirited defensive performance led by the excellent Winston Reid.
But the ambitious All Whites - who went toe-to-toe with the 10th FIFA ranked team in the world - will still have plenty of work to do on Thursday if they want to win the tie.
Here's what the All Whites need to do to in the second leg to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year.
Benefit from the away goals rule
The All Whites will progress to the World Cup finals with any kind of win on Thursday, whether it comes during normal time, extra time or penalties.
But thanks to the away goals rule, they could also make it through with a draw.
World Cup playoff ties are decided by the aggregate score over two legs. But in the event of a draw, the team that scores more away goals will qualify.
This means the only score that will lead to extra time and potentially penalties will be another goalless draw after 90 minutes.
By not conceding at home in the first leg, the All Whites will take a slight advantage into the second leg - knowing that any goals scored in Lima will also act as a tiebreaker.
If the score does remain 0-0 at the end of normal time in the second leg, the match will go into extra time where the away goals rule will still apply. If the match is still goalless after that, the tie will be decided by a penalty shootout.
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson was delighted with his side's defensive performance yesterday.
"[Not conceding a goal] was the most important thing for us but it's not a 90-minute game, it's 180 minutes, and we have to be in the game in the last 10 or 15 minutes in Lima," Hudson said after the yesterday's game.
"We only need one goal. We've gone to some tough places and done that.
"We're pleased with the performance and it's an incredibly good result for us but we've not achieved anything yet."
Overcome injury worries
The All Whites will also have to overcome injuries with the fitness of several key players being closely monitored leading up to the second leg on Thursday.
Tommy Smith has been added to that list of injury headaches after the Kiwi defender left the field with a calf problem midway through the second half of the first leg.
Hudson confirmed that Smith will be travelling with the team to Lima and was hopeful that the centre back would be recovered in time for Thursday's second leg.
Other injury concerns leading up to the first leg revolved around Premier League stars Winston Reid and Chris Wood.
Wood was only fit to feature as a substitute yesterday but the Burnley striker made a huge impact after coming on in the 73rd minute.
Wood's omission from the starting 11 may have been a precautionary move more than anything and the All Whites target man is expected to start on Thursday.
Reid has also been struggling with injuries of his own. Despite putting in a world class performance yesterday, the All Whites captain didn't look 100 per cent and may still be carrying a calf issue.