WELLINGTON, Nov 11 (Reuters) - New Zealand weathered a lack of possession and territory to hold Peru to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their 2018 World Cup finals intercontinental playoff at Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday.
The South Americans, ranked 10th in the world, are heavily favoured to advance and were expected to swamp the All Whites, but they had only two real chances to score a crucial away goal as New Zealand captain Winston Reid marshalled his side’s defence.
New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic produced a goal-line save after a mixup in defence and then tipped over a header from Aldo Corzo in the second half as the home side held their shape and Reid mopped up any attacks.
All Whites midfielder Ryan Thomas had arguably the best chance of the match when his 85th-minute shot flashed just centimetres wide of the right-hand post to ensure both sides remained deadlocked for the second leg in Lima next Wednesday. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)