Sochi (Russia) (AFP) – Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio expects New Zealand’s footballers to show the same battling spirit as their nation’s rugby team in Wednesday’s Confederations Cup, Group A clash.
Mexico take on New Zealand in Sochi as firm favourites having held Euro 2016-winners Portugal to a 2-2 draw, while the All Whites lost 2-0 to Russia in their opening game.
Nevertheless, Osorio expects the Kiwis to show the same fierce determination the All Blacks are famous for.
“New Zealand are very good in the aerial game, they are very strong and very physical,” said Osorio.
“They have that edge the All Blacks have in rugby.
“They are gentlemen, but they are determined and we hope to match that determination to compete for every single ball.”
When the teams last met in Nashville last October, Mexico came away with a 2-1 friendly win after Anthony Hudson’s New Zealand put in a battling display.
Osario was keen to talk down any over-confidence in the Mexico camp as they hunt a victory to boost their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.
“We have the necessary tools to stop them and keep them in check, but of course it will be a hard game,” said the 56-year-old.
“Of course, the more goals we can score, the better our chances of winning the group, but Hudson is a very well prepared coach. It will be tough.”