Fourteen players took the field for the All Whites against Bahrain in Wellington on 14 November 2009, earning the side World Cup qualification. Ten years on, we ask, where are they now?
One of the heroes of the night in Wellington went on to play all three games at the 2010 World Cup and eventually won 36 caps for his country. He retired from professional football in 2013, having played seven seasons for Wellington Phoenix, and moved into an IT career with Revera and more recently Computer Concepts Limited where he is Head of Service Portfolio. He lives in Wellington with his wife Amy and their three sons, aged 10, 8 and 7.
The robust defender played the last of his 32 games for New Zealand in 2014 and having spent his entire eight-year professional career at the Phoenix, hung up his boots in 2016 after 181 A-League games. Beyond his playing days he has moved into the sale and supply of sporting equipment and apparel and is a shareholder and sales manager for Ultra Football as well as working as personal development manager for Wellington Rugby. He lives in Wellington with wife Deanna and their two children and can still occasionally be found playing lower league football in the capital.
The man known as "The Godfather" holds the appearance record for New Zealand in full internationals with 88 caps, the last of which came in the playoff for the 2014 World Cup against Mexico. He is assistant coach of Auckland City, having also played over 100 games for the club, featuring at six Club World Cups. He is also the director of Auckland City's Academy and a board member of the International Football Association Board and the New Zealand Professional Footballers Association. In 2015 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to football. He and wife Marisa have 2 sons, Luka and Ivan.
Widely regarded as New Zealand's greatest player of the modern era, Nelsen was hugely influential in the All Whites camp and with his English club Blackburn Rovers where he played seven seasons before moves to Tottenham Hotspur and Queen's Park Rangers. The last of his 49 full caps for New Zealand came in 2012 before a brief coaching stint with Toronto FC in the MLS. In 2014, he launched sports marketing and technology company Roar Domains and in 2017, together with the respective world governing bodies, gained control of domain names .basketball and .rugby, despite competition from some of the richest internet companies on the planet.
The man who delivered the corner for the game's decisive goal went on to play 56 times for New Zealand, including all three games at the 2010 World Cup. He also played 127 matches for the Wellington Phoenix before departing the club in 2014. After dabbling briefly in futsal, he moved into football coaching and is now technical advisor at Northern NSW Football, the governing body responsible for the growth, development and promotion of football in Northern New South Wales. He and wife Regan have two young sons, Zeno and Atlas.
The Bahrain game was just his third in an All Whites shirt and he is the only member of the starting eleven against Bahrain who is still a professional footballer, currently in a second stint with the Central Coast Mariners after four seasons with the Wellington Phoenix. In all he's clocked up 226 A-League games to go with his 53 New Zealand caps and is still in the All Whites frame as part of Danny Hay's current squad.
One of the driving forces in the New Zealand and Phoenix midfields, his 2010 World Cup dream was shattered by a shoulder injury suffered on the eve of the tournament which prevented him taking the field in South Africa. He played for two more years, eventually chalking up 112 games for Wellington and 30 for the national side before retiring at the age of just 31 to pursue a post-playing career, which has been spectacularly successful. In 2014, he co-founded Allbirds, producing shoes made from Merino wool and estimates now value the company at more than two billion dollars. Brown runs the business from his base in San Francisco.
Despite giving away the penalty which Bahrain couldn't convert, the night ended well for the reliable fullback who went on to play all three games at the 2010 World Cup, earning an eventually unsuccessful trial with English club Middlesbrough. His Phoenix career consisted of 131 games across six seasons before a move to the now defunct Chivas club in the MLS. Upon his retirement, he began a career in Commercial Real Estate and is now a Senior Associate with Colliers International in the Orange County region of Southern California.
The robust front-man was a mainstay in New Zealand sides for over a decade, eventually earning 48 full caps and scoring 16 goals before his retirement in 2013. Following the 2010 World Cup, he took up a playing contract in China, where he spent three years, first with Shenzhen Ruby and then Chongqing. Returning to the UK, he set up Pro Sports Financial Ltd in 2014, a concierge service for athletes providing solutions in the areas of insurance, finance and luxury vehicles. He lives in Adlington near Macclesfield with English-born wife Hannah.
The goalscoring hero of that magical November night, Fallon wrote his name into New Zealand sporting folklore with a first-half header that sent the All Whites to the World Cup in what was just his third game for New Zealand. He went on to play 24 times for his country and scored again in Wellington four years later in the intercontinental playoff against Mexico. Something of a lower league journeyman, Fallon played over 400 professional games for several clubs in England and Scotland before finally retiring in 2017. He moved away from football completely and set up The Cowlick Creamery, a company producing artisan ice-cream, before being coaxed back into the national fold by Danny Hay as an assistant coach in the current All Whites set-up.
One of New Zealand's greatest ever goalscorers, he ensured his place in our football history by scoring the goal which earned the All Whites a 1-1 draw against Italy at the 2010 World Cup. Smeltz brought the curtain down on an 18-year, 400-game professional career in 2017, leaving the game as New Zealand's joint-second leading goalscorer (24 in 58 games) and the second most prolific A-League marksman (92 in 190). A move into coaching followed and he is currently the coach of the Sydney FC under-20 side and also does television punditry for Fox Sports and Optus Sports in Australia. He and wife Nikki have two daughters, Bonnie and Scarlett.
Unique in the 2009 All Whites squad as an amateur footballer who also had a full-time job, his 12th and final appearance for New Zealand was against Italy at the 2010 World Cup before he moved to Brisbane to focus on his career. Originally in finance, he transitioned into software and is now a principal consultant with Workday, a Silicon Valley software company, travelling widely to implement Enterprise software. He still turns out in over-35's football and works on his golf game when time allows.
Just 17 when he came off the bench that night in Wellington, the last ten years have seen Wood work his way up to the point where he is now a Premier League regular. After time with West Bromwich Albion (including a number of loan spells) and Leicester, he found consentient game time at Leeds United, before earning a move to Burnley ahead of the 2017/18 season. He's hit double figures in the last two years and is well on the way this season too, earning himself a two-year contract extension earlier this month. At national level, he will inevitably become New Zealand's greatest goalscorer; he currently has 24 goals in 56 All Whites games, just five short of Vaughan Coveny's record.
A dependable central defender who was a late substitute in the game against Bahrain, he was part of the 2010 World Cup squad without taking the field. He eventually earned 19 New Zealand caps and played for four clubs in the MLS, winning the title with the LA Galaxy in 2012. Boyens then sat his coaching badges, including the national 'A' coaching licence and joined New Zealand Football in 2017 as youth football development manager. He twice filled the role of interim technical director, before gaining that position full-time earlier this year.