Nelsen, Reid to miss WCup qualifier

England-based defenders Ryan Nelsen and Winston Reid will miss

New Zealand’s Oceania regional World Cup qualifying match against

Tahiti on Saturday but will play in Tuesday’s return match.

QPR’s Nelsen, the New Zealand captain, and West Ham’s Reid were

prevented by injuries from leaving London on time to catch New

Zealand’s scheduled flight on Thursday to the Tahiti capital

Papeete.

Reid had back spasms during West Ham’s Premier League match

against Arsenal last weekend while Nelsen aggravated a knee injury

in QPR’s match against West Bromwich Albion.

Nelsen and Reid will now return to New Zealand for Tuesday’s

match against Tahiti in Christchurch. New Zealand leads the Oceania

qualifying series for the 2014 World Cup with wins over the Solomon

Islands and New Caledonia.