New Zealand’s OlyWhites are rated longshots to beat hosts Japan in Saturday’s quarter-finals of the men’s football tournament at the Tokyo Olympics.
In the lead-up to the match, the TAB was at first offering odds of $10 on a New Zealand win but by matchday, the odds have loosened to $13.
Meanwhile, Japan are rated hot favourites to win the tie, paying a mere $1.22.
Of all the quarter-finalists, Japan are the most heavily backed to reach the semi-finals.
Favourites to win the other ties are Spain, Brazil and Mexico.
If New Zealand can overcome Japan, they’ll meet the winner of Spain v Ivory Coast.
The last eight
Here’s Saturday’s quarter-finals (all NZT):
Spain v Ivory Coast (8pm)
Japan v New Zealand (9pm)
Brazil v Egypt (10pm)
South Korea v Mexico (11pm)
Always remember …
Few gave New Zealand any chance of avoiding defeats to Italy, Slovakia or Paraguay at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Fianls in South Africa.
The 1000-1 outsiders for the tournament, the All Whites stunned the football world, going unbeaten through the group stages (where they were rated 66-1 longshots to qualify).
The odds of drawing with world champions Italy were remote …
But in a game of 90 minutes, anything can happen in football.
Go, the OlyWhites!