All Whites defender Andrew Durante says the team expected mind games once they got to Peru, and their travel dramas on Monday (NZT) were not a surprise.

The All Whites had an aggravating arrival into Peru, as their plane was inexplicably delayed by almost three hours by Peruvian airport authorities, necessitating an unscheduled stop in the small city of Iquique in northern Chile.

It basically rendered the whole point of their special charter flight - from Buenos Aires to Lima - redundant, as their journey took two to three hours longer than it would have on a commercial flight.

It also meant the team didn't arrive at their hotel until nearly midnight (the scheduled arrival was around 9pm), and didn't get to sleep until 1:30am.


"It all happened mid-flight," said Durante. "We were expecting to go to Buenos Aires direct to Lima and then halfway through the flight we were told we needed to stop now, in Chile, because apparently all of a sudden they needed to refuel. So we had about an hour on the tarmac in Chile before we got going again.

"It was a bit longer than what was anticipated which is never ideal. But the boys dealt with it really well. We were in good spirits; plenty of banter, joking and card games."

To top it off, their transport from Lima airport to their inner city hotel was at a snail's pace, despite the fact it was almost midnight and the motorway was relatively deserted.

"I don't think he got over 30km/h the whole way here and he had open freeway for a fair bit of it," laughed Durante.

"We expected this type of stuff though and it's all part of the occasion. As a nation they are very proud, and very keen to make it to the World Cup and they will pull out all the stops to make sure it is as uncomfortable as possible for us."

"It feels like maybe it could be," said Durante when asked if such episodes were deliberate physchological ploys.

"Whether it is or not, you don't know - but you are always second guessing everything when you come over here. But the hotel is lovely, the area is nice and we were well received at training. There were lots of kids running around and they all wanted Winston and Woodsy's autographs too."

The Peruvians have generally been welcoming, and there is none of the nasty, open hostility that Australia faced in Uruguay in 2001 and again in 2005.

But there is some undoubted tension in the air, especially as the match gets closer and no doubt behind the scenes there are more off field dramas to come.