Trans-Tasman rivalry heats up

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has confirmed the Socceroos will meet New Zealand in a friendly at Adelaide Oval on June 5.It will be the first time in nearly seven years that Adelaide has hosted an international fixture, with the most recent match at Hindmarsh Stadium on June 6, 2004 when Australia drew 2-2 with the Solomon Islands during the OFC Nations Cup.

The trans-Tasman rivalry in football has built up significantly over recent year culminating in the Socceroos’ fortunate 2-1 win over the All Whites in May last year ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

New Zealand went on to be the only side unbeaten in the World Cup drawing their three group matches.

FFA CEO Ben Buckley believes that the upcoming fixture will be a special event in the football calendar.

“Our traditional rivalry with the All Whites and the rich history of the venue will make the Qantas Socceroos match at Adelaide Oval a special occasion for the South Australian sporting community,” Buckley said.

“It’s been some time since the national team has been able to play in Adelaide and we acknowledge the South Australian Government for their support it making this event possible.”

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck sees the match as a crucial guide in the build up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers.

“I had the opportunity to see the All Whites play in South Africa last year and make no mistake they had a successful campaign having gone through their group phase undefeated against the likes of the defending World Champions, Italy,” Osieck said.

“For us, this game is crucial in the lead up to the qualifiers.”

“This is an ideal opportunity for the players to show their ability to me and the Australian fans and to prove that they should be included in our World Cup campaign.”

“Our last match against Germany was very good and I will be looking for another quality performance and positive result against New Zealand.”