For half an hour it seemed as though this morning’s World Cup game might become known as the Miracle of Mbombela.
It ended in a 1-1 draw, a fabulous effort by Ryan Nelsen and his men.
A seventh-minute Shane Smeltz goal had the lowly All Whites leading the World Cup holders Italy at Nelspruit, near Johannesburg.
The absolutely impossible suddenly became a maybe, as Ricki Herbert’s aerial bombers rattled Italy in the group match.
Some even dreamed of reading the words: “New Zealand beat Italy in soccer’s World Cup”.