Andy Boyens and New Zealand are preparing for their final group stage match with Paraguay (10 AM Thursday, ESPN2).  A win would put the All Whites through to the knockout round, as the Kiwis sit on two points after a last gasp draw with Slovenia and a dramatic draw with Italy.  After congratulating the USA on their win over Algeria, Boyens took some time away from training to answer a few of our questions.

RBR: What was it like when Winston Reid leveled the game against Slovakia late?
AB: It was amazing. Our striker had put a decent chance just wide only moments before and we thought that was our last chance so to get the equaliser was just supurb.

RBR: The All-White’s tie against Italy is arguably the nation’s greatest ever soccer result. Does the mood around the the team and the reaction to the match reflect that?
AB: Yeah I think it is one of the best results given the stage on which it was achieved. The boys were very happy but it also inspired more belief in us so we quickly turned our attention to the Paraguay game.

RBR: What would it mean to New Zealand football if you guys advance past the group stage? Is it something the team even talked about prior to the start of the tournament?
AB: It would mean the world to the team, the organisation and the whole country if we progressed. Yes we did talk about it but I think it was one of those ‘reach for the stars’ type goals. Now it is very much a reality and we are looking forward to the Paraguay game.

RBR: What has your experience been like at the World Cup?
AB: It’s been great. The whole environment is just top class and so exciting. We have had great support from a lot of travelling NZ fans but also a lot of locals who have adopted us as their 2nd team.

RBR: Are you bringing home a vuvuzela? Do you hear it in your sleep?
AB: I will definately not be bringing one back and I’d be very happy if customs were confiscating any that were trying to be brought back into the USA.


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