Smith: Time Will Tell on Injury
Saturday, 11th Nov 2017 23:15
Town centre-half Tommy Smith says time will tell whether the calf injury he suffered in New Zealand’s 0-0 World Cup qualification play-off first leg draw with Peru in Wellington will keep him out of the second game in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The 27-year-old, who was winning his 36th full cap and has scored two international goals, was forced off in the 67th minute and was limping after the match, which was played in the early hours of Saturday morning UK time.
"I just felt my calf, so time will tell really," Smith told Stuff.co.nz as he left the stadium. "Compress it, ice it tonight and then assess it in the morning."
If Smith is absent on Thursday - should he be ruled out he is expected to fly straight back to England - it will be a big blow for the All Whites with the Blues defender having formed a solid backline with skipper Winston Reid of West Ham and Michael Boxall, who plays in the MLS for Minnesota United.
Smith felt he and his team-mates kept Peru’s star striker Jefferson Farfan, who plays for Lokomotiv Moscow, under control.
"I thought he was very quiet," he reflected. ”To keep a clean sheet, the aim of the game was to go into the away leg still in the tie. Obviously, 0-0, we score a goal and they'll need two then.
"The game plan worked today. It would have been nice if one of those half-chances had gone in, but we're quietly confident."
He added: "The most important part is still to come. We all have to be on our mettle and be on our guard for the away leg.”
Fellow Blue Monty Patterson, 20, was an unused sub in Wellington but will be looking to add to his 15 caps and one international goal when the teams meet in Lima with a place at next summer’s finals in Russia awaiting the winners.
Photo: Action Images
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