(Photo : FIFA)
New Zealand and Uzbekistan will battle in Group F of the U-20 World Cup on Sunday morning.
New Zealand is entering its third U-20 World Cup. The Kiwis first qualified in 2007 and failed to get out of the group stage with three losses. The team did slightly better in 2011 when it finished with two draws and a loss.
Uzbekistan is also competing in its third ever U-20 World Cup. The team finished last in its group with three losses in three matches; Uzbekistan conceded six goals and scored three times in the group stage. In 2009, the team improved with two losses and one draw; despite finished third in its group, Uzbekistan failed to get out of the group stage.
The intensity of the match will likely be heightened by the 4-1 victory that New Zealand put up against Uzbekistan in the U-17 World Cup two years ago.
"I have very good memories of that match," said New Zealand midfielder Tim Payne said about the victory. "It's one my highlights for sure, looking back especially with how Uzbekistan ended up doing. We came out and played really well, scored some goals. After that game it was a great buzz, it was awesome."
"Yeah, best feeling ever," Kiwi midfielder Cameron Howieson added. "They went pretty far in the tournament, getting to the quarter-finals, and beating the Aussies 4-0 - I had to mention something there."
Prediction: New Zealand will defeat Uzbekistan 2-1 in their opening match.
Start Time: Kickoff Starts at 10 AM EST
TV: Direct TV Sport