Football: All Whites play out goalless draw with Oman to complete World Cup playoff warm-up

The All Whites have played out a 0-0 draw against Oman in Qatar on Friday (NZ time) in their final warm-up match before next week's all-important intercontinental World Cup playoff.

The match at Doha's Education City Stadium took place behind closed doors, the first All Whites match not televised in nine years.

The result comes after a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Peru at Barcelona on Sunday. The next time the All Whites take to the pitch will be against Costa Rica on Wednesday, where the winner will book their spot at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Defender Bill Tuiloma and midfielder Marco Stamenic were the only players to back up from their clash with Peru, as coach Danny Hay rang the changes.

The All Whites created the majority of the goal-scoring chances against a highly physical Oman side but lacked the finishing quality they'll need against the Costa Rican defence next week.

Elijah Just in action.
Elijah Just in action. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand dominated possession through the first half, before Oman pulled back some of that momentum in the second half, and the ongoing struggle to convert opportunities will be of concern to coach Danny Hay.

In his first outing for the All Whites since 2019, A-League star Marco Rojas was outstanding, providing an attacking boost which will be critical against the Central Americans.

He created the best opportunity on goal of the match but took one touch too many and couldn't get his shot on target. 

Kosta Barbarouses couldn't convert another golden chance to score, trying to chip the Oman goalkepper on the volley, only to send his shot over the crossbar.

Marko Stamenic and Michael Boxall were also impressive for the All Whites, while Ben Waine was at his industrious best - receiving plenty of advice from the sidelines from captain Chris Wood, who made a late appearance.

Hay said the match had helped him confirm his starting XI to face Costa Rica, which he'd now settled on, singling out midfelder Stamenic for particular praise.

"The focus has always been on Costa Rica. This was just an opportunity to get minutes into several players' legs and for them to have an opportunity to force their way into the starting XI," Hay told Newshub after the game.

"I thought there were some really good performances from the likes of Marko Stamenic after, by his standards, a disappointing 45 against Peru. Excellent to see him go well.

"We've got three or four sessions now ahead of Costa Rica so we'll make the most of every single one of those."

The All Whites will be out to secure their third appearance at the World Cup, having previously qualified in 1982 and 2010.

Join us at 6am, Wednesday (NZ time) for live updates of All Whites v Costa Rica