All Whites omit Killen for friendly in Shanghai

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 08/11/2012
Chris Killen
NOT SELECTED: Striker Chris Killen will not play against China due to personal commitments.

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Chris Killen is the notable omission in the All Whites squad named for next Thursday's friendly against China in Shanghai.

The China-based striker will not play because of "personal commitments", while Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz (hamstring) is the only injury concern for coach Ricki Herbert.

Premier League defenders Ryan Nelsen and Winston Reid have both been included with Nelsen and Leo Bertos in line for their 50th appearances.

"We haven't made any personnel changes but we may look to tinker our formation or try one or two new things in this match," Herbert said.

"We've got good experience in the group now with Ryan and Leo set to make 50 appearances. Behind them we've got a group of players such as [Tony] Lochhead, Smeltz and Killen, who are approaching that milestone as well and then Ivan [Vicelich] nearing three figures."

The China match is the last international for the year before the All Whites round out the Oceania section of their World Cup qualifying campaign against New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands in March. No decision has been made on activity during the Fifa window on Waitangi Day.

"This could be the last time we get the group together before the last Oceania matches, so it's important to maintain that familiarity with each other."

New Zealand leads the four-team Oceania qualifying group with the winner progressing to a two-legged intercontinental playoff against a North and Central American nation for a place at the 2014 World Cup.

New Zealand and China have met 12 times, with the All Whites winning six times to go with three losses and three draws.

All Whites: Mark Paston, Glen Moss, Winston Reid, Tony Lochhead, Ben Sigmund, Tommy Smith, Ryan Nelsen, Leo Bertos, Michael McGlinchey, Dan Keat, Ivan Vicelich, Tim Payne, Shane Smeltz, Marco Rojas, Jeremy Brockie, Kosta Barbarouses, Chris Wood. 

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- The Dominion Post

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