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New Zealand edge closer to U-17 final

New Zealand have put one foot in the final of the OFC U-17 Championship after seeing off a tenacious American Samoa 4-0 at North Harbour Stadium on Friday.

Ken Yamamoto celebrates his goal with Cameron Howieson (left) and Luke Adams (right). Photosport

January 14, 2010

AUCKLAND – New Zealand have put one foot in the final of the OFC U-17 Championship after seeing off a tenacious American Samoa 4-0 at North Harbour Stadium on Friday.

The Young All Whites now need just a point from their final match against Papua New Guinea on Sunday to ensure that they play off in next Wednesday’s final for a place in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, although they could still get through even if they lose depending on the scoreline and result in the group’s other match.

Vanuatu, who beat Fiji 3-0 in Friday’s other Group A encounter, are also in contention for a place in the final and play bottom-placed American Samoa on Sunday.

New Zealand made seven changes to the starting line up and two of the new faces combined to open the scoring when Rory Turner gathered a defence-splitting pass from captain Luke Adams and slid the ball across the face of goal for winger James Wypych to tap home in the 24th minute.

Turner missed a guilt edged chance to double the scoring in the 48th minute when his penalty – earned by substitute Cameron Howieson – was saved by goalkeeper Taufaiula Mavaega, who kept New Zealand at bay with a string of impressive saves.

Turner made no mistake from close range in the 65th minute to add New Zealand’s second, with Howieson again to the fore in the build up.

New Zealand’s next two substitutes, who like Howieson added energy to the Young All Whites’ attack, were responsible for next two goals with Ken Yamamoto’s scoop pass freeing Tim Payne for an even defter lob of the advancing keeper in the 77th minute.

Two minute later Yamamoto provided the goal of game with a clinical low left foot volley from the edge of the area that left Mavaega with no chance.

New Zealand coach Steve Cain was content to pick up a third win in five days.
“At this stage in the tournament I’m quite happy to keep it reasonably low key, get the points we need and then pick up our game when we need to,” Cain said.

“It’s not about winning 12-0 it’s about getting the points and moving onto the next stage.”

New Zealand dominated possession and territory with their defence not even allowing the opposition a shot until after the hour mark, while the pace and delivery of Ryan Howlett was a constant threat although it wasn’t matched by New Zealand’s finishing.

“The trouble when you have so much possession is that your players tend to get a little bit flat on it and it gets a little bit predictable and almost formulaic. When we pick things up and injected fresh legs in the second half we were a bit more decisive.”

 “The subs injected a lot of energy into the performance but we certainly missed a few chances when you add them all up.”

Tahiti, who beat Cook Islands 1-0 on Thursday, still lead Group B and can confirm their place in Wednesday’s final with a win over New Caledonia on Saturday, although defeat would leave the door open for their French speaking rivals, or the Solomon Islands – 15-0 winners over Tonga in their last outing – to haul them in.

OFC U-17 Championship
North Harbour Stadium
Group A

New Zealand 4 (James WYPYCH 24’, Rory TURNER 65’, Tim PAYNE 77’, Ken YAMAMOTO 79’)
American Samoa 0
Halftime: 1-0

New Zealand: 20-Scott ARMISTEAD (gk), 3-Reilly O’MEAGHER, 4-Reece LAMBERT, 5-Luke ADAMS (captain), 6-Alex RIDSDALE (10-Cameron HOWIESON 46’), 7-Kip COLVEY, 11-Rory TURNER, 12-Jordan VALE (9-Tim PAYNE 68’), 13-Cameron MARTIN, 14-Ryan HOWLETT (19-Ken YAMAMOTO 72’), 17-James WYPYCH.
Substitutes not used: 1-Scott BASALAJ (rgk), 2-Harshae RANIGA, 8-Rhys JORDAN, 15-Nathan BUSWELL, 16-Bill TUILOMA , 18-Calvin OPPERMAN.
Coach: Steve CAIN

Cautions: None

American Samoa: 1-Taufaiula MAVAEGA (gk), 2-Keniseli TUPUOLA, 3-Rueben LUVU (16-Franky LUVU 85’), 4-Palauni TAPUSOA, 6-Elama FAATONU, 7-Lalotoa VAEAO, 8-Panwechi KALEOPA, 9-Shalom LUANI, 10-Ryan PETAIA, 11-Abel FATA (13-Ryan PAAGA  42’/ 5-Michael TAUMUA 77’), 12-Kid BARTLEY.
Substitutes not used: 14-Kaleopa SILIGI, 17-Tia SIONE, 18-Paulo PAULO, 19-Mark IEREMIA, 20-Conrado SILIGI (rgk).
Coach: Rupeni LUVU
Cautions: 5-Michael TAUMUA 82’

Other Day 7 result
Vanuatu 3
Fiji 0

Halftime: 0-0

Standings

 

Group A

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

New Zealand

3

3

0

0

10

1

9

9

Vanuatu

3

2

0

1

6

5

1

6

Papua New Guinea

3

2

0

1

4

4

0

6

Fiji

4

1

0

3

10

6

4

3

American Samoa

3

0

0

3

1

15

-14

0

 

 

Group B

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

Tahiti

3

3

0

0

11

1

10

9

Solomon Islands

3

2

0

1

18

3

15

6

New Caledonia

2

1

0

1

9

3

6

3

Cook Islands

2

0

0

2

1

9

-8

0

Tonga

2

0

0

2

0

23

-23

0

OFC U-17 Championship
January 8-19, 2011
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
Winner qualifies for FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011

Results
Fiji 9 American Samoa 0
Vanuatu 2 Papua New Guinea 0
Solomon Islands 2 New Caledonia 1
Tahiti 8 Tonga 0
Papua New Guinea 2 Fiji 1
New Zealand 5 Vanuatu 1
Tahiti 2 Solomon Islands 1
New Caledonia 8 Cook Islands 1
New Zealand 1 Fiji 0
Papua New Guinea 2 American Samoa 1
Tahiti 1 Cook Islands 0
Solomon Islands 15 Tonga 0
New Zealand 4 American Samoa 0
Vanuatu 3 Fiji 0

New Zealand schedule
January 16 v Papua New Guinea, 1pm
January 19: Final

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