Soccer: All Whites signal attacking intent

All Whites Marco Rojas and Tim Payne. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
All Whites Marco Rojas and Tim Payne. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

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

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 as his PEC Zwolle side took a 5-1 win over AFC Ajax, 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 said the first task the team must complete was showing the lessons have been learned from the March outing.

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

"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."

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1. Glen Moss (GK), 6. Bill Tuiloma, 7. Tyler Boyd, 8. Michael McGlinchey, 11. Marco Rojas, 13. Chris James, 14. Ryan Thomas, 15. Storm Roux, 18. Tim Payne, 19. Michael Boxall, 22. Andrew Durante. Substitutes: 12. Tamati Williams (GK), 16. Jeremy Brockie, 21. Cameron Howieson, 23. Matt Ridenton, 24. Luke Adams, 25. Jason Hicks, 26. James Musa.

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