Tense draw leaves World Cup berth in the balance

Five MLS players see action in New Zealand-Peru World Cup qualifier

Tense draw leaves World Cup berth in the balance

He said his side have played in a variety of challenging environments, adapting to different cultures and languages when taking on some top teams.

Peru failed to break down a resolute New Zealand defence in a 0-0 draw in Wellington on Saturday, leaving their dream of ending a 36-year absence from the World Cup finals hanging by a thread.

Although Peru tried to score away goals, the captain and the defender of New Zealand national team Winston Reid showed his skills to make obstruction.

The only problem for New Zealand now, will be the altitude.

"We're used to playing away from home".

The All Whites were under pressure nearly immediately, a disastrous start averted as keeper Stefan Marinovic back-pedalled to claw away a near own-goal after a miscommunication between skipper Winston Reid and Tommy Smith at the back.

Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca said he believes his side deserved to win the match and reassured the team's supporters they were determined to win at home and end their long World Cup drought.

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"New Zealand were very tough for us but we need to improve and we know we can play much better".

After being outplayed early, it was New Zealand who had the better of possession in the second half, although Peru's Aldo Corzo forced Marinovic into a sharp save with a powerful header.

The visitors dominated in midfield, allowing Andre Carrillo to pepper New Zealand's box with crosses searching in vain for a finish from striker Jefferson Farfan.

Star New Zealand striker Chris Wood, who surprisingly started on the bench, came on with less than 20 minutes remaining as the home side pushed for a victor.

Wood is expected to start in the return leg on November 15 at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, while Peru are likely to still be missing Guerrero.

Peru has qualified for the World Cup on four previous occasions, reaching the quarter-finals in 1970, but has not made it back since 1982.

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