The Blue Tigers may have made it to the tournament’s, but there is still much to gain from Thursday’s game against the All Whites.
New Zealand clinched their first win in the Intercontinental Cup against Chinese Taipei on Tuesday as the All Whites made a strong comeback after suffering a defeat against Kenya. NZ dominated play and had a lot of possession throughout the game and were relentless going forward, to say the least.
It was in the 35th minute when Taipei defender Hung brought down Sarpreet Singh in the box to concede a penalty. The All Whites capitalised on the golden opportunity and Myer Bevan gave them the lead in the first half.
Here are five things that were evident from the fimatch between New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) June 6, 2018
5. New Zealand are brilliant in the air
Despite being an inexperienced and young side, the All Whites have the physicality required to threaten India. The All Whites did well against the Kenyans also and they completely dominated Chinese Taipei in aerial duels.
India till now have played some good football and they have kept the ball on the ground most of the time. That needs to continue for Constantine and his men as the route one approach or long ball play will not work against this gritty New Zealand side.
The Oceania team players were literally overpowering Chinese Taipei on the field and kept going forward to score goals.
4. Sarpreet Singh has been their standout performer
Sarpreet Singh (left) was also a part of the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year
The 19-year-old Indian-origin lad has been sensational for the All Whites in the Intercontinental Cup. Sarpreet seems really mature fior his age as he knows when to release the ball and when to take on a defender. Singh’s calm and composed nature also helps him makie important challenges to break up play.
The Wellington Phoenix midfielder can definitely score goals himself or can play as an orchestrator providing balls for the forwards. At the age of 19, he has a lot to offer.
3. New Zealand rely on tactical framework and transitioning
The visitors have sent some of their young and inexperienced players to gain some experience in national colours. So, the team relies heavily on the tactics setup by their coach Fritz Schmid, the All Whites seem to play a brand of free-flowing possession-based football.
Players like Bevan and Sarpreet are key men going forward and hence the midfielders try not to take much time to release their forwards on counter attacks. The movement of the ball from defence to attack is very swift and that allows the them to catch opposition defenders off guard.
The threat doubles up with Sarpreet’s pace and creativity and with Bevan’s eye for goal. The team depends on their ball transitioning and movement its and something India should be wary of.
2. Chinese Taipei sould hold their head high despite defeat
Gary White and his team are out of the running for the finals in the Intercontinental Cup with two defeats, but they had a lot of positives to take from this match. The Chinese Taipei side showed a lot of passion in attack, but they missed some easy chances to open the scoring.
There is no doubt that the All Whites were the better side throughout the game but still, they had only a solitary goal to show for all their dominance, which speaks volumes about White’s men.
1. All Whites may spoil the party for the Harambe stars with a victory over India
The New Zealanders do have the firepower and grit to beat the Indian team. The Blue Tigers also should not take Schmid and his men lightly, as they may be inexperienced, but have all the calibre to produce a major upset at India’s happy hunting ground, the Mumbai Football Arena.
A win over the Men in Blue will mean that the All Whites will also upset the Kenyans as they have a better goal-difference currently. So. it remains to be seen how things turn out and who ends up on top in this race to the final.