Captain Finn Surman and coach Darren Bazeley say their team’s gameplan to dominate possession from the start set up New Zealand’s 1-0 win against Guatemala in their opening match at the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup in Argentina.
“We wanted to dominate possession from the start, and that’s what we did. We stuck to the game plan,” defender Surman said in a sideline interview after the game.
“It was a good game. The boys are very happy.”
Main photo: Finn Surman … ”pretty happy with the performance.’
Substitute Norman Garbett scored the winner in the 80th minute to take New Zealand to the top of their group, at least until Argentina played Uzbekistan later on Sunday (NZT).
Surman, who made his A-League debut this year for the Wellington Phoenix, said New Zealand’s second-half substitutions had worked well.
“Norman managed to get us the goal and got us 1-0 up. From there, we still dominated the game, so overall, we’re pretty happy with the performance.”
Coach Bazeley said: “I’m really proud, really pleased. I thought we dominated and had a lot of possession.
“At half-time, we spoke a little bit about being more attacking and getting numbers forward and being a bit more creative with our possession.
“We felt we were so much on top that we were not quite able to create enough attacking moments so we decided to change the shape, get more attacking players on and, to be fair, the players that we brought on in attacking places, they impacted the game.
“As the game unfurled, we saw that we became more of an attacking force than we were earlier in the game.
“It was great that Norman (Garbett) and Ben Wallace came on and actually affected the game in a positive way and it helped us get more chances on goal.”
Games played on Sunday May 21, 2023 (NZT)
New Zealand 1 (Norman Garbett 80′)
Argentina 2 (Alejo Véliz 27′, Valentin Carboni 41′)
Uzbekistan 1 (Makhmudjon Makhamadjonov 23′)