New Zealand will take part in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup as winner of the OFC Nations Cup. That tournament was in Papua New Guinea in June, 2016. In the tournament final New Zealand beat the home team by the minimum score and won the trophy for the fifth time in its history.
The New Zealand national team participated in the World Cup twice. In 1982 “Whites” for the first time were selected to represent the OFC and went to “conquer” Spain. The performance of the New Zealanders was hardly successful: in three games the team suffered three serious defeats. Two goals into the net of the Scotland team became the only positive moment for the debutant of the tournament.
Next time New Zealand managed to get to the main football tournament only in 2010. Having easily won the qualifying tournament in OFC (after Australia had transited to the Asian Football Confederation, New Zealand practically had no opponents in Oceania). In the play-offs New Zealand beat the fifth team of the Asian tournament — the Bahrain national team. The only ball for two matches, which became the decider, was scored by Rory Fallon, the team forward.
The Oceania team may be proud of its performance at the World Cup in the Republic of South Africa. New Zealand became the only national team which lost no one game in the tournament. New Zealanders finished all three games of the group stage in a draw. The draw got in the match with the Italian national team (that time World Cup Champion) became especially honorable.
At the Confederations Cup New Zealand will play for the fourth time. The previous three trophy campaigns ended for the team from Oceania at the group stage. In 1999 in Mexico the New Zealanders lost all three games in the group. Four years later in France “Whites” repeated their “achievement”: three defeats in three matches, at the same time in each of them New Zealand conceded not less than three balls. In 2009 in the Republic of South Africa for the first time the New Zealanders scored points in the tournament, they ended the game with the national team of Iraq in a draw. The team lost two remained games.
The New Zealand national team is presented generally by players from the New Zealand Football Championship and A-League (Australia Football Championship) of most of which is unknown to the European spectators. Leeds forward Chris Wood is considered the main star of New Zealand. The playing style of New Zealand is typical British. The team tries to use the flanks in the attacking phase counting on a successful game in the penalty area after lobbed balls and crosses.
At the Confederations Cup in Russia New Zealand got into the group with the tournament hosts, as well as with the Mexico and Portugal national teams. Objectively, the OFC Nations Cup Winner practically has no chances to leave the group. The New Zealanders may count only on trying to get points in one or two matches.