Intercontinental Cup 2018: New Zealand coach wary of Indian threat
New Zealand coach Fritz Schmid has admitted that his young side faces a challenge in keeping their Intercontinental Cup hopes alive. The All Whites will be up against hosts India in their final group game, where anything short of a victory might see them get eliminated.
"We have to do everything to recover quickly. Unfortunately, the calendar has given us fewer days and we face the hosts on the last day, which is difficult," says Schmid.
"We saw India in the first two games and it will be a big challenge," Schmid told reporters after his side defeated Chinese Taipei 1-0 in their Intercontinental Cup game on June 5.
Myer Bevans of New Zealand scored the solitary goal via a spot kick, which allowed the All Whites to claim victory in their second group game. Their win puts them in the second position on goal difference after India thrashed Kenya by three goals to nil in their match.
To see how the table stands after the second round of group games, follow this link.
A young New Zealand side now faces a difficult challenge, as they will be going up against hosts India, who have been in tremendous form. The Blue Tigers haven't dropped a single point in the competition so far, scoring eight goals and conceding none in both matches combined.
The All Whites will be wary of the threat posed by Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri, who has scored a phenomenal five goals in two games so far.
Speaking about their game against Chinese Taipei, the New Zealand boss said, "Today was very tight and defensive as the opponent was difficult. It was tough but at the end, we took it away with a penalty. We had opportunities in both halves but the penalty might have made it easier."
Meanwhile, the opposition's coach was less than pleased with the penalty decision, addressing the refereeing as unfair.
"The officiating was totally unfair and for the game to be decided on a penalty was frustrating. The referees were okay but had a lapse in concentration. This is a friendly where everyone has to learn," Taipei's coach Gary White said.
However, the fight shown by his players made him happy and he felt that "It was a great battle to see my U-23 (boys) fight like that and it shows the great future of Chinese Taipei side.
"To lose (the game), by a dodgy penalty, frustrates me," White signed off.