Photo Credit: Marcelo Endelli – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

New Zealand and Fiji will be looking to build on their contrasting opening day fortunes at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina on Sunday morning (NZST/FJT).

A 1-0 victory over Guatemala thanks to a late goal from Norman Garbett ensured New Zealand picked up three points from their first Group A assignment, whilst Fiji went down 4-0 to a strong Slovakia side in Group B.

Next up for the Oceania nations are two challenging encounters. Fiji will face off against the USA  who won their opening match 1-0, with New Zealand to meet Uzbekistan, knowing another win will put them within touching distance of the knockout stages. Both matches kick-off at 6am NZT and FJT.

New Zealand Head Coach Darren Bazeley is looking forward to his side building on that opening day victory over Guatemala.

“We’re in a pretty good place here, with a couple of days training. We’ve got a strong squad, a deep squad and everybody is really itching to play.

I watched them (Uzbekistan) against Argentina, they gave them a really good game. There were moments in that game where they were potentially stronger than Argentina, so it’s going to be a really strong test.”

For the Fijians, they know a win is a must in order to keep their hopes alive of a first ever appearance in the knockout stages of a FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Head Coach Roberts Mimms was disappointed with his sides opening fixtures but hopes it will prove a learning experience.

“Disappointing start as the lads didn’t execute the game plan we had worked on in training and because of this we didn’t see the true abilities of the players. But hopefully, the players have learned the true quality of playing in a World Cup and will be better for the upcoming games.”

Group A
Uzbekistan v New Zealand, Wednesday May 24, 6am NZST/FJT

Group B
United States v Fiji, Wednesday May 24, 6am NZST/FJT