Print Edition - 2017-06-21 | Sports
All Whites eye Mexico scalp
Jun 21, 2017-
New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson says the All Whites must be brave against Mexico, knowing defeat on Wednesday will effectively end their Confederations Cup hopes.
Their 2-0 loss to hosts Russia in Saturday’s opening Group ‘A’ match means Oceania champions New Zealand have now gone a record 10 games without a win at the Confederations Cup having left the 1999, 2003 and 2009 editions empty-handed. Following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Portugal, Mexico are upbeat and favourite to win the showdown in Sochi.
“We went toe-to-toe with the European champions and we managed to keep Cristiano Ronaldo in check,” beamed Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio after Sunday’s draw in Kazan. In contrast, underdogs New Zealand must break their goal-drought to have a chance against Mexico.
After friendly 1-0 defeats to both Northern Ireland and Belarus en route to Russia, the All Whites have now played three matches in the last two weeks without scoring. They badly need a good result against the Mexicans with Euro 2016 winners Portugal to follow on Saturday in their final group match. New Zealand lost 2-1 to Mexico in a friendly last October and Hudson, 36, expects a spirited showing from his side.
Goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, who faces a busy night against the likes of ex-Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, believes New Zealand can pull off an upset. “We can definitely get a result against them,” said the 25-year-old. “We were unlucky against them before so we’ll be going for three points.”
Published: 21-06-2017 08:56