Nelsen eyes World Cup place

Blackburn Rovers defender Ryan Nelsen hopes he can help New Zealand win a place in only the second World Cup finals in their history this weekend.

The Kiwis take on Bahrain knowing that victory will guarantee their place in South Africa next summer following their goalless draw in last month's first leg in Manama.

Nelsen will captain his country in the Wellington clash and is looking forward to the occasion.

He said:"The whole of New Zealand will be willing us to the finals. The game is a 40,000 sell-out and it is creating huge interest.

"I haven't had the opportunity to play in too many big games for New Zealand in the past, but this promises to be something special and I can't wait to play in it.

"If we were to reach the finals for only the second time in our history, it would be absolutely massive for football in New Zealand.

"It would inspire a whole new generation and encourage more youngsters to stay in the game."

New Zealand's only previous World Cup finals appearance came in 1982 when they lost all three of their group games – 5-2 to Scotland, 3-0 against the USSR and 4-0 to Brazil.

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