Emblen names attacking side for South Africa

18:38, May 29 2014
Marco Rojas
RETURNING: Marco Rojas is back up front in one of two changes for the All Whites.

Interim All Whites head coach Neil Emblen has signalled an attacking intent in naming his side to meet South Africa at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland tomorrow night.

Emblen has made two changes from the team which was beaten 4-2 by Japan in March, with Vfb Stuttgart striker Marco Rojas and midfielder Chris James replacing Chris Wood and Kosta Barbarouses.

Fresh from scoring a double in the Dutch Cup final for PEC Zwolle, Ryan Thomas will play the second match of his All Whites career after making strong start in the senior international arena in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, any one of four players could make their All Whites debut from the bench with the Wellington Phoenix duo of Matt Ridenton and Jason Hicks joined by Luke Adams and James Musa.

Emblen says the first task the team must complete is showing the lessons from the March outing have been learned. 


"A big focus of ours will be demonstrating we've moved forward from our experience in Japan.

"We need to eliminate the early mistakes we made in that match and at the same time continue to develop our comfort and composure in possession."

Once those items are ticked off the checklist, Emblen has challenged his exciting young group to play with the energy and purpose which reflects the occasion.   

"We haven't always had regular chances to play at home in front of our fans and our mindset will be to attack and play at a quick tempo but without taking undue risks with the ball.

"We have a great amount of pace in attacking positions and we want to take advantage of that but not at all costs."

Tomorrow's match kicks off at 7.30pm.

New Zealand: Glen Moss (GK), Bill Tuiloma, Tyler Boyd, Michael McGlinchey, Marco Rojas, Chris James, Ryan Thomas, Storm Roux, Tim Payne, Michael Boxall, Andrew Durante. Substitutes: Tamati Williams (GK), Jeremy Brockie, Cameron Howieson, Matt Ridenton, Luke Adams, Jason Hicks, James Musa. Coach: Neil Emblen.