The New Zealand under 20 team will be taking on the Portugal under 20 team in the knockout stages of the under 20 World Cup.
Since this is a home World Cup for New Zealand, they have been expected to do slightly better. However, not many gave them hope of reaching the knockout stages of the tournament. They will be taking on Portugal, who already have a strong line-up of youth players. The winner of this tie will be taking on either Brazil or Uruguay, who are both even stronger. Hence, reaching this stage of the tournament is seen as a big achievement by the junior all whites.
National team manager Anthony Hudson will be in the stands to witness the game and he believed that the weather will not be a major threat to a great game of football. It is expected that there will be bad weather for much of the game. More than a victory, game time for some of the players will be an extremely important aspect for Hudson. He has already given as much as six junior all whites and opportunity in the senior team. The manager believes that it will be a great experience for those players to be involved in such a major event.
“If its terrible weather and the wind and rains starts coming in I don’t think the Portuguese will like it, but ultimately the best team of the night will win, I don’t think the weather will play a part.We need our players exposed to the pressure and the crowd and the consequences, we need that because it prepares them for us,” said the national team boss. New Zealand’s World Cup qualification campaign for Russia is expected to begin shortly, but the team has been going through a poor patch of form.