WATCH: New Zealand to meet England in final at Seniors World Cup in Bangkok

New Zealand have reached the Seniors World Cup final for the first time, winning their semi-final against Australia after a penalty shootout.

New Zealand’s over-40s men’s team will play England in Saturday’s final of the 16th Seniors World Cup in Thailand.

The match starts at 9pm (NZT) on Saturday June 8, 2024 and will be live-streamed through the tournament’s Facebook page.

The New Zealand team line up ahead of a group game.

After going down 4-1 in their opening game to a strong Iranian side packed with ex-international players, the New Zealand team won their next two games to finish second in their group.

Game two was a 2-0 win against Laos, followed by a 1-0 win against Taiwan in game three.

After three consecutive game days, Thursday was the day when all eight teams in the competition spent the day in the community.

With piles of giveaways from New Zealand clubs and sponsors, the team enjoyed the day, coaching and playing with local children.

The New Zealanders share gifts with local children.

On Friday, the team lined up in the semi-final against Australia, who had topped their group of England, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Australians had a good early spell in the early evening heat and took the lead. It didn’t take the Kiwis long to level, with a lung-busting run and pinpoint cross from Tim Butterfield finding Paul Whitmarsh, who clinically volleyed home at the far post.

From there, the New Zealand team, led by captain of the day Steve McMahon, dominated the majority of the game and were unlucky to not take the win in normal time.

With neither team able to find the back of the net, it came down to a nail-biting penalty shootout and some goalkeeping heroics from Richard Gillespie to finish the game with a final score of 6-5 to New Zealand.

Teammates surround goalkeeper Richard Gillespie after his penalty save sent New Zealand through to the final.

The final sees New Zealand meet last year’s winners England, who beat Iran in their semi-final.

This is the 14th Seniors World Cup attended by a New Zealand team.

They have made the semi-finals once before, but 2024 is the first time they have made it to the final.

The Seniors World Cup is an annual invitational tournament for players over 40, organised by the Seniors Football Association of Thailand and supported by the Thai FA.

The inaugural tournament in 2006 was part of a government strategy to re-establish tourism after the devastating tsunami that hit the country on Boxing Day, 2004.

To qualify for the invitational tournament, squads must be all over 40 years old. Three 40-44-year-olds, four players 45-49 and three over 50 must be on the field at any one time.

Main photo: The 2024 New Zealand Seniors team.

READ MORE: Seniors head to Bangkok to represent New Zealand at world cup for over-40s >>>>


Game to be played on Saturday, June 8, 2024

New Zealand v England
Bangkok, Thailand, 9pm (NZT)

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