Tokyo Olympics: 'We can turn some heads' - OlyWhites eye creating New Zealand football history

Despite being drawn in, on paper, the easiest group at the Tokyo Olympics' football tournament, the OlyWhites aren't taking anything for granted in their attempt to make NZ history.

In contrast with the NZ men's last tilt at Olympic football glory, when they were drawn alongside heavyweights Brazil and Egypt at London 2012, the Tokyo group has been much kinder.

Although the OlyWhites will have to face 2016 Olympic bronze medallists South Korea, New Zealand can target their other two opponents - Romania and Honduras - as they bid to seal a top two spot and advance to the quarter-finals.

And boasting one of the most talented squads in the history of NZ men's football - with 13 of the 22 available players plying their trade in Europe - the OlyWhites won't have a better chance to make it out of their group.

But striker Chris Wood insists that there won't be any easy games for the OlyWhites.

"In terms of everything else, on paper it might be an easier group, but it's definitely not going to be," Wood says from Tokyo.

"We've seen footage of all [the] teams, they're looking strong, they're looking capable - every single one of them. So, it's going to be [a] tough three games, all three of them.

"We're going to have to be finely tuned and ready to go, or else we won't be able to deliver what we can deliver."

The Olywhites face arguably their most stern test right out of the gate, taking on highly touted South Korea on Thursday.

While New Zealand have warmed up for the tournament with a win and defeat against Australia, South Korea enter the encounter with a 2-2 draw against Argentina, and 2-1 defeat to France under their belts.

Manager Danny Hay predicts South Korea will be one of the teams to watch, when the tournament kicks off.

"Korea were bronze medallists [at the] last Olympics for a reason," says Hay.

"We've watched a lot of footage of them. They're a good side, they've got real strengths in a lot of areas. Counter-attack is one of them, they're a very, very capable team.

"You can see by their results leading into this tournament, really positive results against Argentina. [I] watched them play against France the other day, they played them off the park.

"There's potentially a little bit of lack of understanding of just the quality we're coming up against in terms of a side like that."

But Hay knows what his side is capable of.

"We're fully aware that if we play to our potential, we can do some good things. We can turn some heads.

"I couldn't be happier with this group of players. The approach they've taken is doing New Zealand proud to this point."

Join Newshub for live updates of the Tokyo Olympics football from 11:30pm Wednesday.