26 Jul 2015

All Whites World Cup bid suffers blow

9:29 am on 26 July 2015

New Zealand football's hopes of qualifying for the FIFA 2018 World Cup have taken a hit.

Anthony Hudson, All Whites coach.

Anthony Hudson, All Whites coach. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The draw for the intercontinental World Cup qualifying playoffs has been made and the winners of the Oceania group will have to play the fifth-placed South American side to reach the finals in Russia.

In the other playoff tie, the team which finishes fourth in the CONCACAF competition will face the fifth-placed team from Asia.

Both ties will be played over two legs.

Uruguay have finished fifth in the last four South American World Cup qualifying competitions and taken part in an intercontinental playoff each time.

They beat Australia in 2001, lost to them four years later, beat Costa Rica in 2009 and Jordan in 2013.

With Australia having shifted into the Asia qualifying competition in 2006, New Zealand, who qualified for the 1982 and 2010 World Cups, are firm favourites to win the Oceania group.

They will face Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji in the second stage of the Oceania zone, with the top three teams in the group qualifying for the third round.

The third round consists of two groups of three and the winners of each meet in a two-leg final.