19 Oct 2017

All Whites defender Durante out of World Cup playoff

5:17 pm on 19 October 2017

Veteran All Whites defender Andrew Durante has been ruled out of the team's World Cup playoff with injury.

Wellington Phoenix captain Durante left the field late in their A-League loss to Sydney FC on Sunday night and on Thursday it was confirmed he had suffered a groin adductor tear.

Andrew Durante playing against USA 2016.

Andrew Durante playing against USA 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 35-year-old is expected to be out of action for eight to 12 weeks, meaning he will not feature in New Zealand's home-and-away tie against Peru next month for a place at next year's World Cup.

Wellington hosts the first leg of the tie on November 11, with the second leg set to be played in Peruvian capital Lima five days later.

The injury is also bad news for the Phoenix, who are already without experienced defender Marco Rossi.

Australia-born Durante has 22 caps for New Zealand since his debut in 2013 and has started in 12 of the All Whites last 14 games, including the three matches at the Confederations Cup in June.

Durante also played the full 90 minutes in both games of the All Whites 9-3 aggregate defeat to Mexico in the 2013 playoff for a place at the last World Cup.

With Durante not available, young defender Sam Brotherton is likely to be the player who benefits when the squad to face Peru is named.

Brotherton, who plays for the under-23 team at English Premier League club Sunderland, was expected to miss selection if Durante and first-choice duo Winston Reid and Tommy Smith were fit.

New Zealand have qualified for the finals just twice before, in 1982 and 2010. .

New Zealand Football have pre-sold more than 30,000 tickets for the home leg at Wellington Regional Stadium, with more than 20,000 snapped up in the first hour of sales on Tuesday.

NZF Chief Executive Andy Martin said the response was a "great result for football in New Zealand".

"There is phenomenal interest in this game and it is only going to grow as we count down to kick off," he added