All you need to know ahead of the intercontinetal playoff between the All Whites and Costa Rica at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha - kickoff at 6am on Wednesday, June 15.
The man who will control the destiny of the All Whites' intercontinental playoff with Costa Rica is a 43-year-old from Dubai.
The Herald understands that Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed is the referee who has been appointed to control the winner takes all clash on Wednesday.
Although he has been a Fifa official since 2010, it will be one of the biggest games of his career, given what is at stake.
Mohamed controlled six Asian World Cup qualifying games over the last year and is one of half a dozen referees from the confederation to be appointed to the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
He oversaw one group game at the 2018 World Cup (France vs Denmark) and was fourth official for three other matches at the tournament.
Mohamed has also worked at a Fifa age group World Cups and a Club World Cup, but most of his duties have been confined to his home federation, within the Asian Champions League and Asian Cup.
He will have a tough task on Wednesday, with so much at stake.
Both teams will be looking for any small advantage, but Costa Rica in particular are renowned for their gamesmanship, seen as part of their weaponry.
"I've read comments from the likes of [striker] Joel Campbell that it is part of their game that they utilise, that they grow up learning and we have to be fully aware of that," All Whites coach Danny Hay said earlier this week, pointing out it is part of the football culture in the region.
Hay added that a strong stance from the officials would be crucial.
"That is going to be critical, that we get officials that are not falling for any of the dark arts, a lot of the diving, the feigning, trying to win needless or cheap free kicks. At the same time we can't give the referee any opportunity to blow his whistle in dangerous areas," said Hay.
"We will have to defend well and defend properly, not diving in, staying on our feet, being aggressive without making too much contact, where they can go down under that contact."
Ideally, the whistler for this match would have come from Europe, as the UEFA officials control more high pressure matches that anyone else. But their contingent is tied up with Nations League games.
When the All Whites last faced a Concacaaf team in the Intercontinental playoff (versus Mexico in 2013) the referees for the two matches were from Germany and Hungary.
There are some big names in the Costa Rican team, including Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz and particularly goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The All Whites have to hope that Mohamed doesn't get a touch star struck, as the New Zealand side have experienced in the past, especially with Guatemala official Carlos Batres, during the 1-1 draw at the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
The fourth official, along with the three men looking after VAR are all from Qatar.
- by Michael Burgess in Doha
Goalkeepers: Matthew Gould, Stefan Marinovic, Oli Sail
Defenders: Michael Boxall, Liberato Cacace, Francis de Vries, Dane Ingham, Niko Kirwan, Tim Payne, Nando Pijnaker, Winston Reid, Tommy Smith, Bill Tuiloma
Midfielders: Joe Bell, Matt Garbett, Elijah Just, Clayton Lewis, Marco Rojas, Marko Stamenic
Forwards: Kosta Barbarouses, Joey Champness, Alex Greive, Callum McCowatt, Logan Rogerson, Ben Waine, Chris Wood
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Esteban Alvarado, Leonel Moreira, Aarón Cruz
Defenders: Francisco Calvo, Juan Pablo Vargas, Kendall Waston, Óscar Duarte, Daniel Chacón, Juan Luis Pérez, Ricardo Blanco, Carlos Martínez, Bryan Oviedo, Ian Lawrence, Keysher Fuller
Midfielders: Celso Borges, Yeltsin Tejeda, Orlando Galo, Roan Wilson, Carlos Mora, Allen Guevara, Bryan Ruiz, Brandon Aguilera, Gerson Torres, Jewison Bennette
Forwards: Joel Campbell, Anthony Contreras, Johan Venegas
How they got here
The All Whites went five wins from five in Oceania World Cup qualifying. They lost to Peru 1-0 and drew 0-0 with Oman in international friendlies ahead of the Costa Rica clash.
Costa Rica finished with seven wins, four draws and three losses to finish fourth in Concacaf qualifying to advance to the intercontinental playoff. They have since won one (2-0 against Martinique) and lost one (0-2 to Panama) in the Concacaf Nations League.
Costa Rica and New Zealand have only faced each other once in an international friendly held on March 24, 2007 at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma in San Jose, Costa Rica. Costa Rica beat the All Whites 4-0 thanks to a brace from Alvaro Saborio and goals from Alonso Solis and Bryan Ruiz.
Odds (to qualify)
Costa Rica: 1.27
New Zealand: 3.50
Fifa World Cup draw
The winner of the match will be placed in the difficult Group E at the World Cup finals in Qatar, with Spain, Germany and Japan.
How to watch
The Herald will provide live updates of the game. The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 1, with coverage beginning at 5am on Wednesday. If you want to watch the match online, you can stream the game live via Sky Sport Now.