WELLINGTON – The Thai Airways Oly-Whites are steadying themselves for Wednesday’s first clash against a Chilean U-23 side in hot form and with a taste for ‘the physical stuff’.
Chile touched down in Wellington on Tuesday fresh from a 4-3 win and a 1-1 draw against the Olyroos in Darwin, with New Zealand coach Stu Jacobs certain of the South Americans’ quality.
“That Olyroos side is full of A-League players and European pros so they’re potentially very strong,” said Jacobs.
“We’ve played South American sides – including Chile – before [as U-20s] and we know Chile will be technically very good and very quick. They also only just pipped by Brazil for Olympic qualification.”
Chile’s opening match against Australia had almost as much fire as it did firepower with seven yellow cards dished out in the seven goal thriller, and Jacobs won’t be surprised if his side faced the same in their first competitive match since securing Olympic nomination in March.
“That’s the way Chile play. They like to duck and weave but when it comes down to showing who’s boss they like to make it pretty clear who’s got the upper hand.”
“To be honest we’re a little underdone given where we are in our build-up, but we’ve got good size in our team and the lads have been pushing themselves right to the line in training.”
“We expect a physical battle but we’ll be giving nothing away.”
The first match kicks off at 3pm at Wellington’s Newtown Park with a second helping on Friday night in Porirua.
Thai Airways Oly-Whites:(from) Liam Little (GK), Jacob Spoonley (GK), Roy Bell (GK), Michael Boxall, Hone Fowler, Ian Hogg, Sam Jenkins, Joel Mathews, Steven Old, Jack Pelter, Aaron Scott, Jeremy Brockie, Craig Henderson, Cole Peverley, Cole Tinkler, Shaun van Rooyen, Costa Barbarouses, Greg Draper (Wellington Phoenix), Daniel Ellensohn, Sam Messam.
Chile U-23:(from) 1.Gregory Saavedra (GK), 2.Marcelo Diaz, 3.Bruno Romo, 4.Eugenio Mena, 5.Bastian Arce, 6.Sebastian Mendez, 7.Felipe Seymour, 8.Angel Rojas, 9.Eduardo Vargas, 10.Esteban Paredes, 11.Boris Sagredo, 12.Fabian Cerda (GK), 13.Esteban Saez, 14.Sebastian Diaz, 15.Fabian Torres, 16.Sebastian Barrientos, 17.Lucas Dominguez, 18.Matias Campos,
Thai Airways Oly-Whites v Chile
Wednesday July 2
Friday July 4
Gate sales only
Story courtesy of NZF Media. For more information visit www.nzsoccer.com