Soccer-Rojas returns for New Zealand's World Cup playoff

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand have recalled experienced winger Marco Rojas and defender Michael Boxall to their squad for next month's World Cup playoff against Costa Rica but attacking midfielder Sarpreet Singh misses out because of injury.

Rojas and Boxall, who missed the Oceania qualifying tournament in March because of club commitments and injury respectively, join a 26-man squad also featuring Newcastle United forward Chris Wood.

Singh, who plays in Germany's second tier for Jahn Regensburg, has been struggling with a long-term pelvic injury that has kept him on the sidelines for much of this year.

As expected, PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ryan Thomas was also absent from the squad as he recovers from a long-term knee injury.

"I’m very happy with the squad we have assembled. This is a group that understands how we want to play and what is expected of them," coach Danny Hay said in a news release.

"While it is unfortunate that Sarpreet Singh and Ryan Thomas are missing with injury, it is great we are able to bring Marco Rojas and Michael Boxall back after they weren't available in March.

"We know this is a massive moment for football in New Zealand and I believe these are the players that give us the best possible chance of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup later this year."

The All Whites, who previously qualified for the World Cup in 1982 and 2010 but have yet to win a game, will face Costa Rica in Doha on June 14 with a spot in the 2022 finals on the line.

New Zealand will warm up for the match with a friendly against Peru in Barcelona on June 5 and another international against an as yet unannounced opponent behind closed doors in Doha on June 9.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Chris Reese)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Football

Soccer-Ukraine end Hungary's World Cup playoff hopes
Soccer-Newcastle agree to sign defender Botman from Lille
Soccer-Sweden get record send-off ahead of Women's Euros
Soccer-Monaco sign Liverpool forward Minamino on four-year deal
JDT sign Daniel and Amat to keep defenders on their toes
From zero to hero, Ngah gets it right this time
Soccer-World Cup spot is no issue, says Goetze on Bundesliga return
Soccer-No pressure says MLS's highest paid player Insigne
Soccer-Fernandinho returns to Brazil's Athletico Paranaense
Soccer-Bale completes move to MLS side Los Angeles FC on year-long contract

Others Also Read