The Oly Whites have no fear ahead of their daunting quarter-final matchup against Japan tonight, according to coach Danny Hay.
The New Zealand side have been hugely impressive in their campaign, with the 0-0 draw against Romania to seal qualification for the knockout stages their most mature display yet.
But taking on Japan (9pm) will be another matter. The host nation have looked imperious, with a 100 per cent record in group play, highlighted by a 4-0 demolition of France.
They have been in camp together for months and preparing for years, with players drawn from Sampdoria, Bologna, Stuttgart, Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven, as well as the top Japanese clubs.
Their home advantage has been lessened by the lack of crowds, but they are still being fired by the hopes of an expectant nation.
The scale of New Zealand's task is reflected in the TAB odds, with the Oly Whites $13 outsiders.
But Hay is bullish, saying that the team "won't die wondering".
"It's an opportunity - all the pressure is on the Japanese," said Hay. "Home nation, expected to win a gold or go very close. They are a good team...but we can have a crack at them.
"We don't want to be hopping on that plane – whenever that is – with 'what ifs'. We are one game away from playing for a medal."
Hay drew comparisons with the South Korea match, where New Zealand were widely written off as 8/1 outsiders, but came away with a surprise 1-0 win, built on a solid tactical plan and some timely counter attacking.
That result has been put in context since, with the Asian team baring their teeth against Romania (4-0) and Honduras (6-0).
The Japanese have been analysed in depth and Hay said getting the tactics spot on would be key. It will be a difficult balance, between trying to take the initiative, while also respecting Japan's technical prowess and pace.
The Oly Whites will have to be cast iron defensively, but will also need spells in possession, to avert the danger of being overwhelmed.
"We will have to be supremely organised," said Hay.
Winston Reid took part in some light training drills on Friday and will face a fitness test on Saturday morning. Hay said the 33-year-old was "desperate to play" but rated his chances of taking the field at only "20 per cent" after the knee injury he suffered against Honduras.
"He is slowly getting better but we are still no closer to making a decision about whether he can play or not," said Hay.
There is an obvious concern over fatigue, with Saturday's match their fourth game in 10 days. Unlike some other teams, New Zealand hasn't had the luxury of resting key men, with Joe Bell, Liberato Cacace and Chris Wood among those who have played every minute, so managing workloads will be key.
Gianni Stensness is relishing Saturday's opportunity.
The 22-year-old has been a standout, thriving in an unfamiliar role in central defence, after mainly playing in midfield in the A-League.
He said he was open to the idea when Hay first suggested it, with the doubts over Michael Boxall. Stensness played some age group football at the back, and has been helped by the presence of Reid, who is always passing on tips at training.
Like Hay, Stensness believes a football miracle is possible.
"I'm very confident going into the game that we can stop Japan from playing," said Stensness. "I really believe in this team."