New Zealand to take positive approach into U-20 World Cup game — coach

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Head coach Darren Bazeley expects Uzbekistan to be “highly aggressive” in their game plan against New Zealand, knowing a loss will send them home early from the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup in Argentina.

Needing a win to stay at the tournament, the Asian age-group champions will be fit, strong and “they’ll not give us as much time in possession”, Bazeley says.

“They need to beat us,” he told a media briefing on the eve of the match to be played on Wednesday (6am NZT).

Uzbekistan put up a decent fight in their 2-1 loss to Argentina on Sunday, after taking the lead against the hosts.

A win or draw for New Zealand could see the team en route to the knockout stages but Bazeley said it would be dangerous to go into the match with a plan not to lose.

“We’re going to try and win, and be positive in our approach,” he said.

“They (Uzbekistan) play at a high tempo, with fit and strong players and they are aggressive in the press.

“They’re going to come out firing. We can’t afford to go into that game trying not to lose, or trying to draw. It’s dangerous to let your opponent have too much of the ball; they will eventually hurt you.”

Bazeley indicated he would make some changes to the starting line-up, to ensure some fresh legs with the team backing up after its 1-0 win against Guatemala on Sunday.

The matchday squad would have a bench to enable New Zealand to change its shape or adapt to circumstances during the match.

He said he had good support helping him make decisions in the dugout, in assistant coaches Paul Temple and Martin Bullock, and goalkeeper coach Glen Moss.

Meanwhile, the players were settling in well at their training base and “are starting to feel at home at this level.”

“Everyone’s itching to play,” he said.

READ MORE: Uzbekistan name squad to play New Zealand at FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup >>>>

READ MORE: Garbett goal gives New Zealand perfect start to FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup >>>>

READ MORE: Plan to dominate possession key to U-20’s World Cup win, say captain and coach >>>>


Game to be played on Wednesday May 24, 2023 (NZT)

New Zealand v Uzbekistan
Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, Santiago del Estoro, 6am (NZT)

How to watch

New Zealand’s game against Uzbekistan will be broadcast live by Sky Sport 1, with coverage starting at 5.50am.

You can also watch the live stream of the match through the FIFA+ platform here:


New Zealand

13 Henry Gray, Ipswich Town, England
21 Alby Kelly-Heald, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
1 Kees Sims, Ljungskile SK, Sweden

4 Isaac Hughes, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
2 Jackson Jarvie, Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand
20 Lukas Kelly-Heald, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
14 Finn Linder, Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada
12 Everton O’Leary, Birkenhead United, New Zealand
3 Adam Supyk, Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand
5 Finn Surman, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
15 Aaryan Raj, Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand

6 Fin Conchie, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
10 Jay Herdman, Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada
7 Noah Karunaratne, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
8 Jackson Manuel, Western Springs, New Zealand
16 Dan McKay, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

9 Oliver Colloty, currently on trial in England
19 Kian Donkers, NEC Nijmegen, Netherlands
17 Oli Fay, Ljungskile SK, Sweden
11 Norman Garbett, Potenza Calcio, Italy
18 Ben Wallace, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Head coach
Darren Bazeley

Assistant coaches
Paul Temple
Martin Bullock

Goalkeeper coach
Glen Moss

READ MORE: More about the New Zealand players >>>>


21 Otabek Boymurodov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
12 Asror Kenzhaev (Neftchi)
1 Edem Nemanov (Chigatoy)

3 Abdukodir Khusanov (Energetik-BGU Minsk)
20 Makhmud Makhamadjonov (Bunyodkor)
18 Saidafzalkhon Akhrorov (Turn Yaypan)
6 Jakhongir Urozov (Bunyodkor)
4 Abubakir Ashurov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
15 Diyor Ortikboev (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
2 Izzatillo Pulatov (Metallurg Bekabad)
13 Zafarmurod Abdurakhmatov (Nasaf Qarshi)

8 Bekhruz Askarov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
11 Sherzod Esanov (Andijon)
16 Shakhzod Rakhmatullaev (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
18 Shakhzod Akromov (Nasaf Qarshi)
17 Nodir Abdurazzakov (AGMK Olmaliq)
14 Abbosbek Fayzullaev (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
10 Umarali Rakhmonaliev (Rubin Kazan)
9 Shakhzod Nematjonov (Metallurg Bekabad)

7 Pulatkhuja Kholdorkhonov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
5 Rustam Turdimurodov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)

Head coach
Ravshan Khaydarov

Assistant coaches
Davron Karimkulov
Miraziz Mirzaakhmedov

Goalkeeper coach
Vyacheslav Tomilin


Game to be played on Saturday May 27, 2023 (NZT)

New Zealand v Argentina
Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan, 9am

The 25,000-capacity Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, where New Zealand will play Argentina. Photo credit: Enrique Guardia.

Full schedule

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