x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Herbert is full of hope

Tournament outsiders New Zealand are making their third appearance at the Confederations Cup, having previously lost all six games.

Tournament outsiders New Zealand, who arrived in South Africa without injured Blackburn Rovers defender Ryan Nelsen, are making their third appearance at the Confederations Cup, having previously lost all six games. Nonetheless, coach Ricki Herbert is certain his team, who take on Spain tonight, can more than hold their own this time around. "We could be the dark horses in the tournament, who knows?" he said. "Our agenda at the tournament was to finally get a point or a win, but to get to the semi-finals is now a realistic dream."

Looking back at their final warm-up game against Italy, which they led three times before losing 4-3, he added: "I was very proud of the way we played and to get a hat-trick of goals against a team of Italy's pedigree was superb. We now go into the tournament with a real degree of confidence." * PA Sport