New Zealand have confirmed their place in the Quarter-Finals at OFC U-19 Women’s Championship after a comfortable 11-0 victory over Papua New Guinea in Suva.
The defending champions got off to the perfect start, taking the lead in only the third minute when Manaia Elliott found space on the right-hand side of the penalty box and her tame shot was spilled into the net by Papua New Guinea goalkeeper Philomena Rugum.
Despite their commitment to working their way back into the match, Papua New Guinea struggled to match the tempo and pace of New Zealand and a flurry of goals half-way through the half confirmed where the three points were heading.
Further goals came as the Kiwis asserted their dominance on proceedings, with Zoe Benson and Alexis Cook grabbed four each to boost their chances of winning the tournament’s Golden Boot award.
New Zealand finish the group with two wins from two and are well-placed going into the knockout stages as they bid to retain their crown. As for Papua New Guinea, they now have the chance to rebound from defeat when they face hosts Fiji in Suva on Wednesday.
Tahiti and Cook Islands are both still in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages at OFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2023 following a tightly contested 0-0 draw in Suva.
Neither side managed to truly stamp their authority on proceedings, with clear-cut chances few and fair between, especially in the first period.
It was the Cook Islands who came closest in the opening 45 minutes. Following a corner from the left that was played back across the face of goal, Victoria Fatiaki turned her effort towards goal, only to be denied by an outstanding reaction save from Gelimma El Hadj Kaddour in the Tahiti goal.
Despite a subdued second-half Tahiti almost stole it late on. Haranui Le Gayic, who had been kept quiet for most of the tie, found Hanihei Hamatai unmarked at the back post with an excellent cross only to see Kimberly Uini palm away the resulting header.
Both sides remain in contention in Group C with Cook Islands to face Solomon Islands in the final match on Wednesday.