Australia get New Zealand friendly
The Socceroos will host New Zealand in a friendly match at the Adelaide Oval on June 5, New Zealand Football has confirmed.
The trans-Tasman rivals will meet in the South Australian capital just three days after the All Whites play Mexico in Denver at altitude on June 2.
It means a tough travel schedule for New Zealand in between, departing from Colorado the evening after the Mexico clash and only arriving in Australia the day before the Adelaide match.
New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert says the travel demands were weighed up against the benefits of playing two teams ranked in the world's top 30.
"Opportunities for high quality internationals can be limited and it's vitally important to get international exposure for all of our players, but especially the new blood, and against tough teams," Herbert said. "Any time together as a group is also crucial. Yes, it's a demanding turnaround but New Zealand Football have done what they can to minimise the stress of travel, and the group of players we have has shown themselves to be both resilient and passionate about representing New Zealand.
"We don't know which part of the world our qualification path will end in so it's important that as part of our preparations for World Cup qualifying we taste different environments until we know for sure where that path leads.
In July, FIFA will conduct a draw determining whether the winner of New Zealand's Oceania group will play off against Asian, North American or South American opposition over two legs for a place in the 2014 World Cup.
Prior to last May's World Cup warm-up in Melbourne, won 2-1 by Australia, the two sides had not met since 2005.For the Socceroos, it will be the first time they have played in Adelaide since 2004, when they drew with the Solomon Islands at Hindmarsh Stadium.