All Whites' World Cup dreams over after contentious VAR calls

Source: 1News

Relive our live updates as New Zealand and Costa Rica play for the final qualification spot at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

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8:05am: Match Report

New Zealand have failed to qualify for this year's World Cup in Qatar, losing a controversy-filled intercontinental play-off against Costa Rica 1-0.

Former Arsenal striker Joel Campbell's third-minute goal was enough to send the Central American nation to a third-straight World Cup as the All Whites twice fell on the wrong side of crucial VAR decisions.

An equaliser by Chris Wood late in the first half was ruled out for a foul in the build-up after referee Mohammed Abdulla consulted his pitch-side monitor.

The New Zealanders' sense of frustration only increased in the second-half when Abdulla sent off substitute Kosta Barbarouses for a challenge on Francisco Calvo.

The United Arab Emirates' official had originally booked Barbarouses for the challenge but changed his decision after once more viewing a replay pitchside.

It's the third qualifying campaign in a row New Zealand have fallen at the final hurdle after losing play-offs to Mexico and Peru in their past two World Cup cycles.

Danny Hay's team had a disastrous start at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, with Campbell hitting the back of the net with the first shot of the match.

The 29-year-old got his foot to a cross from the left before New Zealand's defence, steering the ball past Oli Sail and into the far corner of the net.

That would be Costa Rica's only shot of the opening half however as the All Whites pressed hard for a leveller.

Wood twice created opportunities for youngsters Matthew Garbett and Alex Greive but both squandered the chances.

Newcastle United striker Wood forced Costa Rica captain Keylor Navas into a double-save moments later but it wasn't until the 39th minute when the big New Zealand forward thought he had scored.

Wood steered a Garbett cross passed Navas after it eluded the Costa Rican defence but Abdullah ruled Garbett had committed a foul winning the ball back before his cross.

Costa Rica made a triple change at half-time, bringing on ex-Fulham midfielder Bryan Ruiz, but New Zealand were still dominating the possession, shots and territory.

Even after Barbarouses' 69th-minute dismissal, New Zealand pressed for a goal with Clayton Lewis's long-range effort in the 76th minute forcing a smart diving save from Navas.

Costa Rica's qualification completes the full 32-nation line-up for November's World Cup with Los Ticos to be in Group E alongside European heavyweights Spain and Germany as well as Japan in Qatar.


The All Whites' starting XI moments before their World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.

That's it. The dream is over but what a display from the All Whites. They were the better team in this match and played the far more interesting game but as it goes in football, one touch can make a difference and it did - along with two very debatable VAR calls. Costa Rica move on and with it, the stage is set for November. That's it for us in the commentary of this World Cup qualifier. Enjoy your Wednesday.

90+4min: NZL 0-1 CRC

One last chance for the Kiwis as they get a corner. But its cleared...

90+2min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Bell with a cross into the box but it's easily taken away by Costa Rica. They shift the ball back into New Zealand's half and are looking to wind down the clock.

90min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Four minutes of added time. Here we go. All in for the All Whites!

86min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Another Wood chance goes begging! The crowd are starting to get into it now as the desperation starts to mount. Less than five minutes for this 10-man All Whites side to somehow flip the script.

83min: NZL 0-1 CRC

And still the fearless All Whites look to equalise. Wood with another shot but Navas is up to the task again.

80min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Hay with another more substitution for the final 10 minutes of regular time. Lewis is off, Marko Stamenic is on.

78min: NZL 0-1 CRC

All Whites' ensuing corner leads to a Wood header but it sails wide.

76min: NZL 0-1 CRC

NAVAS WITH A GREAT SAVE! Lewis gets the ball outside the box and looks to curl it into the top left corner. It's a superb strike but it's matched by the veteran Costa Rican goalie.

75min: NZL 0-1 CRC

All Whites build another promising attack with Cacace getting the ball in space on the left. He crosses it in looking for Just but Navas wins the contact in the air with ease. Nice bit of sportsmanship as Just helps Navas back to his feet after the collision.

71min: NZL 0-1 CRC

New Zealand back on the attack after five minutes of controversy and Kirwan crosses to Wood. He tries the volley but skies it over the goal. Reid is off as Hay makes a substitution, bringing on Elijah Just.

69min: NZL 0-1 CRC

NZL RED CARD! The VAR has struck again! VAR deems Barbarouses' contact, which isn't great, is worth the upgrade and moments after coming on, Barbarouses is gone. NZ down to 10 and captain Reid isn't shy about showing his frustrations. In fact, it's led to a yellow card for Reid too for his conduct. This is getting ugly...

68min: NZL 0-1 CRC

And another stoppage as Barbarouses is yellow carded but the VAR is being called into to see whether it's worth upgrading to a red card.

66min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Dicey moment as a clearance from Costa Rica gets past the All Whites' line and there's a chase. Sail has come storming out of his box to make the clearance near halfway and beats the Costa Rican player by about a metre. Great read but if he misses that there's an open goal back there.

63min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Bell finds Waine outside the box who looks to find Barbarouses in the box but Costa Rice has four men in the area and they get across it. Still positive signs for the Kiwis though as Costa Rica again are slowly creeping back into their defensive shell after starting this second half more centrally.

60min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Coach Danny Hay makes his first two changes with Kosta Barbarouses and Ben Waine into the action for Greive and Garbett.

56min: NZL 0-1 CRC

First chance of the second half for the All Whites and it's Wood again. He's all alone with three on him outside the box, looks up and sees Greive, looks to thread it to him in the box but Grieves can't get the shot away cleanly and Navas is there to defuse the situation and clears.

53min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Short stoppage as Campbell goes down clutching his head after collision with Reid. Nothing in it though because he instigated the contact going for the ball. Carry on.

51min: NZL 0-1 CRC

It's scrappy to start the second half! The Costa Ricans are back on the attack but they haven't got the resources to keep it going so they fire one from deep which Tuiloma deflects. Ball is high in the air, two go up for it, Costa Rica gets it back, attempted volley, deflected again, two go up, two go down and finally New Zealand clears.

50min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Costa Rica with a rare attack but the cross in to the box has no one to finish it and it sails to the opposite sideline.

48min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Costa Ricans coming out a bit more fiery to start this second half as they up the pushing and shoving of the Kiwis on the ball. New Zealand are straight back on the attack as they were for the first half of this match but already you can see they're getting a little bit more pressure when they look to make their windows of opportunity.

45min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Back underway in Doha as Costa Rica gets us going. 45 minutes to find an equaliser and the final spot in this year's World Cup.


Chris Wood pursues the ball against Costa Rica.

And that's the first half wrapped. It's Costa Rica with the lead but it's been all about the All Whites in that first 45 minutes. Besides the early slip-up, it's been all New Zealand as they try again and again to find that equaliser with quality balls into the box.

They found it with a great finish from Wood but a questionable [and that's putting it nicely] VAR intervention has wiped it off the board and left the Central Americans with a lead as they continue to stay defensive and challenge the All Whites to find the net.

Stay with us, we'll be back after the break for the second half to find out if New Zealand can step up to the task!

45+2min: NZL 0-1 CRC

All Whites get one last chance but before it can fully develop the ref has called a foul on Cacace who is going for the ball and finish.

45min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Two minutes to be added for the first half. Can the Kiwis get one more chance before the break?

41min: NZL 0-1 CRC

THE VAR TAKES IT AWAY! What a horrid call. Costa Rica are all on the referee as Wood makes his way to halfway and he agrees to go to VAR for a potential foul in the build-up. The contact is between Garbett and a Costa Rican defender who collide as they go for the ball but the Kiwi has a hand on his leg. The argument is that arm has resulted in Costa Rica losing a chance at the ball and led to Garbett getting his open chance to find Wood. After multiple reviews, VAR and agrees and takes it away. This is Kiwi commentary but that's still a truly horrid call.

39min: NZL 1-1 CRC

GOAL NZL! WHO ELSE BUT CHRIS WOOD! After not getting the penalty the All Whites are back on the attack. Garbett gets the ball, fires in to a lonely Wood and he comes up with the finish.

37min: NZL 0-1 CRC

There's some pushing and shoving after Wood looks to earn a penalty! All Whites earn a free kick, it's a great ball for Wood who creates the space, gets contact from the scrambling defender and goes down. VAR check it but say there's not enough in it for the All Whites to go to the spot. Play resumes...

34min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Not a great ball and Wood's half-hearted volley results in little more than a clearance from Costa Rica.

33min: NZL 0-1 CRC

New Zealand straight back on the attack and after dancing with the ball outside the box for the better part of 30 seconds, Tuiloma steps up and earns a corner with a Costa Rican deflection.

32min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Reid with another great read defuses the corner. The experienced defender clears with a header and the All Whites move the ball back up into the midfield.

30min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Much better from Costa Rica. They find some space down the right wing and cross it in. Reid reads it and thumps into touch. Corner kick coming up.

28min: NZL 0-1 CRC

A rare passage of possession for Costa Rica but they look a bit lost on what to do with it. With their defensive shift they only have two players on the attack and it's left them swamped by the All Whites' defence and midfield. Kiwis back on the ball.

25min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Ball floats across to Niko Kirwan who manages to control it deep on the left wing. Tries to find the ball in but can't. Costa Rica have set up two very clear lines of defense here, almost challenging the All Whites to find a chink in the armour. It's still all one way traffic so far, which feels weird to say after the goal in the opposite direction early in the match.

22min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Another deep delivery to Wood and he links up with Matt Garbett. Garbett is swarmed by three defenders and the ball is tapped into touch. Kiwis throw in, look to attack again but Costa Rica get the intercept and clear. Still plenty of positive play from the Kiwis here.

20min: NZL 0-1 CRC

On top of their defensive mindset, Costa Rica have already started to look at the clock and slow the game down. They chew up a minute of game time with a slow free kick and even slower goal kick from Navas. Referee is having chats but the Costa Ricans don't seem fazed. Bit early for this sort of carry on, isn't it?

17min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Costa Rica appear to be happy to sit back and play defensive now they have a lead and it's giving the Kiwis plenty of time and ball to set up their attacks. Despite have nine Costa Ricans in and around the box, the Kiwis are finding chances - they just need one to stick.

14min: NZL 0-1 CRC

Well despite the scoreline, it is all New Zealand at the moment as Keylor Navas comes up with a pair of saves against Wood! Another great ball into the box and Wood looks to flick it home but Navas stays low for the deflection. Wood attempts a second but Navas smothers it.

11min: NZL 0-1 CRC

INCHES FROM EQUALISING! A superb ball floats in for Wood who headers it back to Alex Grieve. Grieve fires the shot but it's about three inches wide of the left post. Positive response from the All Whites.

8min: NZL 0-1 CRC

All Whites get their first corner of the match. Clayton Lewis with a decent delivery but Chris Wood can't get a clean header on it. Costa Rica clears.

6min: NZL 0-1 CRC

All Whites look to settled things down with control over possession and keep it in the midfield looking for a window. It leads to a cross in for Joe Bell but defended easily.

3min: NZL 0-1 CRC

GOAL CRC! DISASTER FOR THE ALL WHITES! Costa Rica get space down the left wing and find the cross into the box for an easy finish in the bottom right corner by Joel Campbell.


The anthems have been sung, team photos have been taken and flags have been exchanged at halfway. With New Zealand kicking things off, we're under way in Doha!


The teams have made their way out on to the pitch and are set for the anthems. In a late blow to the New Zealand squad, Callum McCowatt and Marco Rojas have both been ruled out of the All Whites squad due to illness.


It's do-or-die for Danny Hay's men as they eye the final place in Qatar, and daunting dates with Spain, German and Japan. Hay is confident, but standing in their way at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha is an experienced Costa Rica, featuring multiple Champions League winner Keylor Navas in goal.

Kick off is at 6am.


All Whites

Goalkeepers: Matthew Gould, Stefan Marinovic, Oli Sail

Defenders: Michael Boxall, Liberato Cacace, Francis de Vries, Dane Ingham, Niko Kirwan, Tim Payne, Nando Pijnaker, Winston Reid, Tommy Smith, Bill Tuiloma

Midfielders: Joe Bell, Matt Garbett, Elijah Just, Clayton Lewis, Marco Rojas, Marko Stamenic

Forwards: Kosta Barbarouses, Joey Champness, Alex Greive, Callum McCowatt, Logan Rogerson, Ben Waine, Chris Wood

Costa Rica

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Esteban Alvarado, Leonel Moreira, Aarón Cruz

Defenders: Francisco Calvo, Juan Pablo Vargas, Kendall Waston, Óscar Duarte, Daniel Chacón, Juan Luis Pérez, Ricardo Blanco, Carlos Martínez, Bryan Oviedo, Ian Lawrence, Keysher Fuller

Midfielders: Celso Borges, Yeltsin Tejeda, Orlando Galo, Roan Wilson, Carlos Mora, Allen Guevara, Bryan Ruiz, Brandon Aguilera, Gerson Torres, Jewison Bennette

Forwards: Joel Campbell, Anthony Contreras, Johan Venegas