Doha, Qatar – When we last saw Bill Tuiloma he scored a late goal for the Timbers in South Florida nearly two weeks ago. Since then, he’s jet off to Europe and the Middle East with the New Zealand National Team as they prepare for a match years in the making.
After winning the Oceania’s World Cup qualifying tournament in March, the New Zealand All Whites are set to face Costa Rica in an intercontinental playoff match on Tuesday, June 14, in Doha, Qatar. The winner of the one-game playoff qualifies for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November.
Tuiloma reported for national team camp in Marbella, Spain, where New Zealand began training for its lead-up friendlies against Peru and Oman.
On June 5, the All Whites faced Peru in a friendly in front of more than 33,000 people in Barcelona at RCDE Stadium. Interestingly, it was a rematch of an intercontinental playoff played between the two countries ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Tuiloma featured and played 67 minutes in a 1-0 loss; it was the first match New Zealand had played in front of spectators since 2019.
It was then off to Qatar for Thursday’s friendly against Oman. The two sides played to a scoreless draw at Education City Stadium in the city of Doha. Tuiloma wore the armband for the All Whites for the first time and played the first half before being subbed out at halftime.
The playoff against Costa Rica on June 14 will secure the final berth for the World Cup in Qatar. The two sides will square off at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha; kickoff is 9 p.m. local time and 11 a.m. Pacific.
Timbers fans may watch the match in the U.S. on Telemundo, Universo or FuboTV in Spanish, and in English on FOX Sports 2.
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