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Intercontinental Cup

Intercontinental Cup: New Zealand coach Fritz Schmid says India will pose a big challenge

5:28 PM GMT 05/06/2018
Fritz Schmid
The New Zealand head coach is excited about the possibility of playing in front of a big crowd when his side take on India...

Chinese Taipei head coach Gary White’s frustration at the officiating during his side’s 1-0 loss to New Zealand in the Intercontinental Cup was evidently clear in the post-match press conference.

A Myer Bevans’ 36th minute spot-kick was enough for the All Whites to keep their hopes alive in the four-nation tournament while Chinese Taipei’s hopes were all but dashed. Despite the loss, White expressed pride in the display shown by his men at the Mumbai Football Arena on Tuesday.

“It was a great battle and to see my U-23 fight like that shows the great future of the Chinese Taipei side. To lose by a dodgy penalty, frustrates me,” White said at the post-match press conference.

“The players feel robbed of a victory because of the character and fight they showed today,” the Chinese Taipei head coach added. While White took issue with the officiating in the match, he hoped that the referees learn from their mistakes.

“The officiating was totally unfair and for the game to be decided on a penalty was frustrating. To see our semi professionals play tonight was good,” White quipped.

“The referees were okay, but had a lapse in concentration. This is a friendly where everyone has to learn,” he went on to add.

On the other hand, New Zealand coach Fritz Schmid was happy with the organization shown by his men.

“We were organized today; today was very tight and defensive as the opponent was difficult. It was tough but at the end we took it away with a penalty. We had opportunities in both halves but the penalty might have made it easier,” the All Whites coach said.

The fact that New Zealand had beaten a higher ranked opposition for the first time since 2015 was not lost on Schmid.

“This is our first win against a higher ranked team since 2015. The average age is 21, I'm very proud of the boys,” he stated.

While Schmid’s men remain in contention for a spot in the finals, they will have to take on hosts India in their final round-robin match on Thursday.

“We have to do everything to recover quickly. Unfortunately, the calendar has given us less days and we face the hosts on the last day, which is difficult. We saw India in the first two games, it'll be a big challenge. On the other hand, we have the chance to play a big crowd,” Schmid explained.

New Zealand’s Sarpreet Singh won the penalty for his side on the night after going down under the challenge of Tzu Kuei-Hung in the box. On his part, the 19-year-old Indian-origin attacking midfielder was delighted to carry on his club form with Wellington Phoenix into the four-nation tournament.

“Coming to India is always challenging. I was hoping to carry on my form from my club. Without my teammates, it wouldn't have been possible,” he said before signing off.