Belief the key for Oly Whites

New Zealand coach Neil Emblen is calling for belief from his player as they head in to a good old fashioned David and Goliath battle against Brazil in the mens Olympic football tournament against Brazil at Saint James Park in Newcastle on Wednesday. Following Sundays 1-1 draw against Egypt, the Oly Whites are still in with a chance of reaching the quarterfinals but need to upset a star-studded Brazil chasing the only international mens football title that had eluded them and hope that Belarus fail to beat Egypt. Even then it will come down to goal difference but Emblen says the players will embrace the challenge, and their underdog role, like they have against Belarus. Were excited because we have a chance and were playing one of the best teams in the tournament but theres also apprehension because they have such top players, Emblen said. The lads have to go in like they have in the first two games; believing they can get a result. Once the game is over we have to have no regrets, we must have given everything. But Emblen also acknowledges the strength of a Brazilian side where rising superstar Neymar leads a seemingly endless list of household football names. Its probably the biggest David versus Goliath match up of this tournament and on paper we are worlds apart. Most of their players will be the core of the side at the 2014 World Cup. Their squad is worth $300 million and ours has eight amateur players. Its a huge task but if we can grind them down, stay in shape and then take our chances when they come then anything can happen. Well need our to be our absolute best and theyll need an off day but its football and upsets do happen. We have conceded fewer goals than they have against the same teams and if we can keep our shape defensively then we are good enough to create two, three, four or five chances and well be a threat from set plays as well. Fullback Ian Hogg has recovered from the knee injury he suffered against Egypt meaning Emblen once again has a full complement of players to choose from. Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson is once again available but Michael OKeeffes performance against the Africans may demand retention of a starting place. The match kicks off at 1.30am on Thursday morning (NZT). Mens Olympic Football Tournament Group C New Zealand v Brazil St James Park, Newcastle August 1, 2.30pm (1.30am, August 2 NZT) Live on Sky Sport 4
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