The All Whites are set to face novel opponents in the upcoming FIFA window, with a rare look at an African team.
Off the back of their games in Bahrain this month, the Herald understands that New Zealand Football have confirmed one game against an African nation in November, with another fixture still to be finalised.
The match will be played in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where coach Danny Hay and his support staff have been based for the last few weeks.
The All Whites have played teams from the world's second-largest continent only twice in the last decade.
The most recent was in June 2018, when a young side lost 2-1 to Kenya in Mumbai, with Sarpreet Singh marking his first international start with a goal.
The other was a clash with South Africa in Auckland in May 2014 (0-0), overseen by caretaker coach Neil Emblen, notable as the last match before Anthony Hudson was appointed.
With the November window originally earmarked for Oceania World Cup qualifying, it has been difficult to secure opposition at relatively short notice. Many European and Asian teams are involved in World Cup qualifying, while most others already have friendly matches locked in.
But NZF's main imperative was to bring the All Whites together again, and they will have at least one match next month, before two more fixtures in January ahead of March's Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament in Qatar.
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The All Whites' positive results against Curacao (2-1) and Bahrain (1-0) are reflected in the latest FIFA rankings, with the team rising 10 places to No. 111.
There is still a long way to go, but no other nation made a bigger leap over the last month.
While rankings don't bring too many practical advantages, aside from seedings at World Cups, they are a boost for reputation and status and there is a desire within NZF to see the All Whites return to a position that reflects their collective ability.
New Zealand were ranked No.49 after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and briefly hit a high of No.55 in 2013.
They were last inside the world's top 90 nations (No.88) in July 2016 but have suffered from spells of inactivity since then. The All Whites haven't been within the top 100 since June 2017 (No.95).
Australia currently sit at No.34, the third highest in the Asian confederation, only behind Iran (22) and Japan (28).
There are only six non-European teams (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico and USA) inside the top 20, which is headed by Belgium.