South Africa - After being bundled out of the World Cup with a nil-all draw to Paraguay, New Zealand nevertheless celebrated winning the coveted sporting event, based on an aggregate score.
Rated 2000-1 to win the Cup the New Zealand All Whites, as they are controversially known, were expected to be demolished in the opening rounds by Slovakia and powerhouses Italy. However, dogged determination kept the Cinderella story alive and New Zealand came within a whisker of going through to the next round thanks to a gritty performance against Paraguay.
“We’re undefeated in this World Cup!” New Zealand manager Ricky Herbert cried post match. “This is an incredible result for New Zealand. We’re ranked 78th in the world, mate, and we came here and had a bloody blinder against some of the best. On that basis, and based on our performance, we really won the cup.”
All Whites Captain Ryan Nelson reiterated Herbert’s sentiments. “I’m stoked - it’s huge for New Zealand football. All week we’ve been told by journalists and football pundits what a performance we’ve put on with our undefeated record - it feels like we won the tournament.”
The New Zealanders were credited with a win by cricket statistician aficionados Duckworth-Lewis.com, who declared the All Whites as 2010 World Cup winners based on statistical information. “While other teams may be through to the next round, we’ve done the math.” said a Duckworth-Lewis spokesperson. “New Zealand’s chances of winning the cup were so remote, and their unbeaten record so fantastic that, given the circumstances, they are clearly Cup champions. We use the same formulas for rain interrupted cricket matches, it’s tried and true, there’s no doubt.”
Fifa are understood to be nervous about the declaration. With so many games left to play and so many of the major teams underperforming, concern is brewing about interest in the Cup waning.
There were no such concerns from Kiwi fans however. A relaxed and shirtless New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, who had attended the game on a whim expressed his support for the team. “I came over here with a few mates to see what all the fuss was about. We’re rank outsiders you know, half the Paraguayan fans thought we were English, or possibly Australian, so it was marvellous to be competitive. The last time we played in the Cup was 1982, so to get this far, practically beat the Italian champions, and do so well…well, we really deserve the cup on merit.”
Kiwi fans who stuck around after yesterday’s game against Paraguay celebrated the team’s best result in a vociferous display. An equally enchanted nation began preparations for their cup heroes’ return, although they were warned by government officials of a strictly limited 45 minute time slot for football celebrations. Frantic preparations are currently underway for a major religious event in the country, the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which is expected to erase any memory of the All Whites in about six months time.