The All Whites did not get the result they were hoping for at The Intercontinental Cup 2018 in India, but Fritz Schmid said the tour was a “priceless experience” for his young side, marked as the most inexperienced team in New Zealand Football history before the tournament.
The World No 120 bowed out of the tournament last night by the smallest of margins. Three teams – India, Kenya and New Zealand – all finished on six points. India (+7) and Kenya (+2) advanced to the final on a superior goal difference to the All Whites (+1) after Kenya defeated Chinese Taipei 4-0 in their final game.
New Zealand went down 2-1 to Kenya in their opening game and then bounced back with wins over Chinese Taipei (1-0) and India (2-1) to record the All Whites’ first back-to-back wins over non-Oceania opposition for 12 years, but it wasn’t quite enough, and the team was disappointed to miss the final but reflected on a number of positives.
“We take a lot of valuable input out of this camp,” said Schmid. “We went to India with the intention of having a very interesting window of assessment of new faces and new players. The way they performed and the way the group presented themselves over the two weeks was very interesting and promising. I also take a lot of positives from our performance data and our values which we are about to establish.”
The most pleasing aspect was seeing how the group progressed and evolved day by day: “They adapted to the very difficult and demanding conditions in this environment. India at this time of year is one very difficult environment to play football. How they coped with this and how they put our match plan and our intentions into practice from game to game was very pleasing. I have to give credit to each one of them.”