Great Britain women's soccer coach Hope Powell knows the home side can't afford to take New Zealand lightly in Thursday morning's (NZT) Olympic Games opener at Cardiff.
Team GB will start as favourites against the Football Ferns as they get Group E under way, with the Kiwis having never won a game at an Olympics or a World Cup finals.
But New Zealand have made big strides over the past 12 months, pushing world champions Japan and Powell's England side close in the group stages of last year's World Cup in Germany.
And the GB boss knows her charges can't afford to under-estimate their opponents if they want to give the host nation a victory in the first sporting action of the 2012 Games.
"They've done a lot of work in the last 12 months," said Powell. "We played them in the World Cup as England, and they were a tough proposition and they're vastly improved.
"They worked really well throughout the game we faced them in, they brought a lot of pressure, and they'll run and run and run for 90 minutes.
"In all areas, they're really striving to improve their game and they're getting better technically, so the game is a big challenge and we're expecting a tough encounter, as they are quite strong in all areas."
A crowd of more than 35,000 is expected for the fixture and Powell believes that figure is a sign of the growing popularity of the women's game.
Meanwhile, New Zealand coach Tony Readings is honoured that his side will help to get the Olympics under way and hopes the pressure of the occasion for the home side will allow his team to capitalise.
"We're always proud to pull on the shirt and represent our country, but to be the first athletes to represent our country is something we're really looking forward to," he said.
"There could be added pressure on our opponents going into this game in front of an expectant home crowd, but for us it's another game of football.
"We've played in front of big crowds at World Cups and we're used to playing most of our games away from home."