10 Nov 2017

Colour in the capital as the Red and Whites arrive

3:10 pm on 10 November 2017

Peruvian fans in Wellington for the World Cup qualifying match against the All Whites tomorrow have a packed itinerary.

NZRefugees Assoc Vs Peru Community Friendly game Civic Square

Marita, middle, with Alberto on the right and another fan getting geared up for the game. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

This afternoon they joined lunching locals in Civic Square where there was a football game between the local Peruvian community and the New Zealand Refugees Association.

More than 100 people were there.

Alberto travelled to New Zealand specifically for the big match.

"I'm not sure if a lot of New Zealanders will go to Peru to watch the game ... we love football, it is our passion."

NZRefugees Assoc Vs Peru Community Friendly game Civic Square

NZRefugees Assoc vs Peru Community Friendly game Civic Square Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The presence of home fans would help the Peru team, he said.

Marita moved here from Peru 13 years ago and has friends coming from Australia and Asia to support their home team.

"We have been practising our songs ... we are loud, we put all our passion when we do this, we jump and create the atmosphere, so it's the people who create the atmosphere and we will be like that tomorrow.

"We have also a flash mob at 12pm tomorrow, we have many things happening tomorrow and then we parade to the stadium, I asked people to bring traditional costumes."

Wellingtonian Jason was there in a Peru jersey and with his Peruvian wife.

He said he would be cheering for the visitors tomorrow night.

"On paper Peru should win but obviously football is played on the field so anyone can win."

NZRefugees Assoc Vs Peru Community Friendly game Civic Square

Festivities in Civic Square in Wellington Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Jorge has crossed the Pacific from Peru and was determined to make the most of the trip.

"It's very exciting, because in South America soccer is the biggest sport, it's passion ... we follow our country.

"And it's a once in the world chance to see them. We're here to support!"

Peru fans were confident their team would win the first leg playoff.

Peru fans were confident their team would take the first leg playoff. Photo: RNZ / Emile Donovan

Despite producing some top players in recent years, Peru's last World Cup appearance came in 1982 - which, coincidentally, was New Zealand's first.

But Jorge reckons the visitors have the first leg sewn up.

"1-0, that's my score."

Mario Vega travelled from Sydney with his children and said they were about to witness a slice of history.

"My whole lifetime I haven't seen them make a World Cup.

I've got my kids here - that next generation's going to see the Peruvians make the World Cup, we believe anyway."

As of last night there were 400 tickets left for the playoff at Westpac Stadium. The return match is in Lima on Wednesday.

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