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New Zealand make winning start to U-17 World Cup qualifiers

New Zealand have made a winning start in their quest to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico with a 5-1 victory over Vanuatu In Auckland on Monday, but have been given a healthy warning against complacency ahead of their next match.

Ken Yamamoto opened the scoring inside two minutes.

January 10, 2010

AUCKLAND – New Zealand have made a winning start in their quest to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico with a 5-1 victory over Vanuatu In Auckland on Monday, but have been given a healthy warning against complacency ahead of their next match.

Spearheaded by the impressive link play between strikers Ken Yamamoto and Tim Payne, the Young All Whites put on a crisp first half display and could have posted a lead larger than the 4-0 score line they took in to the changing rooms at North Harbour Stadium’s outer oval.

Yamamoto struck inside two minutes to give New Zealand a perfect start and fullback Bill Tuiloma met a Jordan Vale freekick with a classy header for New Zealand’s second 12 minutes later.

Yamamoto teed up Payne to add the Kiwis’ third goal in the 23rd minute and the two front men combined to set up Vale eight minutes before the break.

But the show stuttered after halftime Santino Mermer’s brilliant 48th minute strike for Vanuatu –on the back of a defensive turnover – looked to be the only second half goal until Cameron Howieson started and finished the best move of the game, springing the offside trap and getting on the end of a cross from substitute Ryan Howlett.

New Zealand coach Steve Cain said the fight back from Vanuatu served as a timely lesson in closing out games at the start of what will be a busy week of games at the OFC U-17 Championships culminating in the final on January 19.
“Realistically the game was over at halftime,” Cain said.

“The hard part is keeping just enough intensity to not concede and to make sure they can kill the game off in a more positive way. But at the end of the day, they’re young, it’s hot and there’s a lot of nervous energy out there.”

“It was a sloppy way to concede and we warned against that at halftime, but it’s a lesson I’d rather the players learned now than later on.”

“We came back from it well and when we raised our game again we scored another.”

Despite sitting out the first match day on Saturday with a bye, New Zealand now have a share of a four-way tie for first place in Group A, thanks in part to Papua New Guinea’s shock 2-1 win over leaders Fiji in Monday’s early kickoff.
Red cards after a midfield melee in the first half left both sides with 10 men and Jacob Sabua’s 52nd minute strike proved to be the winner.

New Zealand’s next game is against a wounded Fiji on Wednesday afternoon.
“Fiji will be desperate after today’s result because if they lose again they’re out so that could make it more challenging but their captain will be suspended after the red card and that’s not going to do them any favours,” Cain said.

“The good thing we take out of our game is that the players are reminded our good these teams can be when they get their tails up. For ten minutes they raised their game and came at us, but they didn’t really have any more chances.”

Group B continues on Tuesday with group leaders Tahiti and Solomon Islands clashing in the early 1.30 kickoff while New Caledonia and Cook Islands will chase their first win in the 4pm game. Tonga have the bye.

OFC U-17 Championship
North Harbour Stadium Outer Oval
Group A

New Zealand 5 (Ken YAMAMOTO 2’, Bill TUILOMA 14’, Tim PAYNE 23’, Jordan VALE 37’, Cameron HOWIESON 87’)
Vanuatu 1 (Santino MERMER 48’)
Halftime: 4-0

New Zealand: 1-Scott BASALAJ (gk), 2-Harshae RANIGA, 4-Reece LAMBERT, 5-Luke ADAMS (captain), 8-Rhys JORDAN, 9-Tim PAYNE (17-James WYPYCH 61’), 10-Cameron HOWIESON, 12-Jordan VALE, 15-Nathan BUSWELL (14-Ryan HOWLETT 72’), 16-Bill TUILOMA (18-Calvin OPPERMAN 75’), 19-Ken YAMAMOTO.
Substitutes not used: 3-Reilly O’MEAGHER, 6-Alex RIDSDALE, 7-Kip COLVEY, 11-Rory TURNER, 13-Cameron MARTIN, 20-Scott ARMISTEAD (rgk).
Coach: Steve CAIN

Cautions: None

Vanuatu: 1-Selonie IARUEL (gk), 2-Raoul COULON, 3-Jais MALSARANI, 4-Channell OBED, 5-Jelene WAIWAI, 8-Barry MANSALE, 9-Santino MERMER, 10-Abraham ROQUARA (6-Romain CARLOT 78’), 11-Jean KALTAK, 13-Steve SAILAS (19-Tony KALTAK 27’),  14-Michel COULON (12-Steve LOLTEN 88’).
Substitutions not used: 7-Yoan BEN,  15-Xavier MASSING, 16-Julian KALOTANG (rgk), 17-Daniel TENENE, 18-George MAHIT, 20-Andre KALSELIK.
Coach: Wilson AUGUST

Cautions: 3-Jais MALSARANI

Other Day 3 result
Papua New Guinea 2
Fiji 1
Halftime: 1-1

Standings

 

Group A

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

Fiji

2

1

0

1

10

2

8

3

New Zealand

1

1

0

0

5

1

4

3

Papua New Guinea

2

1

0

1

2

3

-1

3

Vanuatu

2

1

0

1

3

5

-3

3

American Samoa

1

0

0

1

0

9

-9

0

 

 

Group B

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

Tahiti

1

1

0

0

8

0

8

3

Solomon Islands

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

3

Cook Islands

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

New Caledonia

1

0

0

1

1

2

-1

0

Tonga

1

0

0

1

0

8

-8

0

 

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

New Zealand schedule
January 8 – bye
January 10 v Vanuatu (won 5-1)
January 12 v Fiji, 1.30pm
January 14 v American Samoa, 1.30pm
January 16 v Papua New Guinea, 1pm
January 19: Final

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