All Whites coach Anthony Hudson is undaunted by the prospect of facing Peru in November and believes his team has a "serious chance" of progressing to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Peru was confirmed as New Zealand's opponent in next month's intercontinental playoff, after a frantic final day of regional qualifying matches in South America.

Positions in the table changed on numerous occasions yesterday, but at the end Peru crept into fifth place ahead of Chile, sparking wild celebrations in Lima.

Heading into yesterday's matches any one of five nations could have occupied that fifth spot - with Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Paraguay the other contenders - but Hudson admitted that the Andean nation was one of his preferences.


"Whoever we get it's a tough game, very tough, but out of all the teams we were looking at, certainly from my point of view, Peru was a team we would have liked to have played," said Hudson.

"They are very highly ranked [and] they are there for a reason but I just felt out of all of them that was the team that would give us confidence going into the game."

"If we are stood here talking about Argentina that is a big uphill battle. Now everyone has got to be positive. We know we can compete. We are at home in the first game and the players really believe. We have got a serious chance and we will be looking forward to it."

In comparison to the likes of Chile, Colombia and especially Argentina, Peru certainly lack pedigree and profile. They last qualified for a World Cup in 1982, and haven't really been a force on the world stage since the 1970s.

But they shouldn't underestimated. Peru have enjoyed a strong second half of their qualifying campaign, losing just once in eight games over the 12 months, which has included two priceless wins away from home. They have a young team on the rise, which coach Ricardo Gareca has moulded into a cohesive unit.

New Zealand has never beaten South American opposition, with three draws and 11 losses against team from that continent, but Hudson has faith that his team can engineer an upset.

"I have always believed," said Hudson. "But for us to get there we need to be at our very best, the biggest performance of the last three years. I believe we can deliver that. And if we can, we have got a chance."

Hudson followed four games yesterday at a variety of screens at his house, but said he was unemotional as the twists and turns played out.


The coach also re-iterated his preference for the home leg to be staged on Saturday November 11, though the final date and time will only be confirmed after discussions between Fifa and the two national federations.

"[We] need to wait if the game is on a Friday or a Saturday," said Hudson. "I think [Saturday] is better for all involved and even for Peru - they would want that. But whatever happens we can deal with the Friday night, and we can deal with the Saturday night."

The first playoff match will played on either 10 or 11 November, with the return leg likely to be on the 14th November (15 November NZT).