Johannesburg, June 21 (ANI): The All Whites of New Zealand continue to capture the hearts and minds of the world media.
According to stuff.co.nz, the Kiwis have put up an extraordinary performance in the ongoing FIFA World Cup, so much so that the website of Britain's Guardian newspaper has termed the team the "feelgood hit of the summer".
"Extraordinary stuff. They put in such a resourceful display, and were led sensationally by the brilliant Ryan Nelsen. But today is all about New Zealand, who have infused this World Cup with the sort of innocent, everyman charm that was seemingly lost to top-level football," said the paper's correspondent.
The Telegraph waxed lyrical: "All over the glistening, ultra-modern Mbombela Stadium, patches of white whirled, New Zealand shirts stripped from chests and held aloft in defiance and delight. The team that came as cannon fodder had just detonated Italy's World Cup hopes."
"The reigning champions, of course, can still qualify for the last 16 with victory in their final game against Slovakia. They most likely will. But any pretence Marcello Lippi and his side had of retaining their trophy was exposed as folly by the team from the ultimate backwater, the proverbial team of part-timers and no-hopers .
There was nothing lucky about this point, though, for New Zealand, standard-bearers of the smaller nations. They qualified by beating the likes of Vanuatu ... but any doubts that they might not have deserved their place can be cast aside," it added.
According to the Observer, the All Whites defended "like giants".
Italy were "uninspired and unable to break down dogged defending even with a mountain of possession", but "that should detract in any way from what was unquestionably New Zealand football's finest hour. The current world champions dominated the match but in the end they "huffed and puffed but could not do enough to win," it said. (ANI)