Italy faces New Zealand in WC mismatch | sports | Hindustan Times
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Italy faces New Zealand in WC mismatch

Defending champion Italy will meet World Cup outsider New Zealand on Sunday in a match that should exhibit the harsh laws of nature just as well as nearby Kruger National Park.

sports Updated: Jun 19, 2010 11:31 IST

Defending champion Italy will meet World Cup outsider New Zealand on Sunday in a match that should exhibit the harsh laws of nature just as well as nearby Kruger National Park.

The statistics suggest Italy will be the hunter, with New Zealand the prey.

The Kiwis' World Cup finals record is restricted to a single previous appearance in 1982, when the team lost all three games. Italy, by contrast, is among the game's powerhouse teams, with four World Cup titles.

The gulf in class is reflected in FIFA's latest rankings. Italy is fifth, while New Zealand is 78th, the third lowest in the tournament.