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U-17s learn from Doha defeat

The team opened their Aspire Tri-Series tour with a 1-0 loss to Qatar on Tuesday morning (NZ time) in a game which saw the New Zealand side miss a late penalty.
Assistant coach Chris Zoricich said the team made a sluggish start to their first encounter but a second half improvement was pleasing.
“We started quite poorly and our first half performance was well below standard,” Zoricich said.
“We had a chat at halftime and the second half was much-improved. We had a lot of ball in the opposition half and Michael Woud was only called into action twice in the second half.”
“We created a couple of chances which should have been converted but it was disappointing because we probably should have got a result out of the game.”
The team followed that up on Wednesday morning with a 4-1 defeat by Croatia in a match which saw the New Zealand side create a number of scoring chances.
Having fallen behind 2-0, Logan Rogerson pulled a goal back for the New Zealand team when the striker finished a Connor Probert freekick to give the side a boost heading in the second half but Croatia found two more goals in the second period to secure the result.
Zoricich said some lacklustre defending proved costly on Wednesday while the team were able to create regular sights of goal at the other end.
“Three of the four goals Croatia scored were through poor defending on our behalf rather than any good play on Croatia’s behalf,” Zoricich said.
“I can think of at least four or five good chances to score in the second half which we couldn’t convert and we duly got punished at the other end.”
Zoricich says the trip was an excellent opportunity to see the players in action against strong opposition as he and coach Danny Hay continue to chart the journey towards the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile in October.
“It was a fantastic experience for the boys and it was a good camp for us to learn about the players themselves. Hopefully the players have learned a lot – I think they’ll take a lot from the experience.”
Aspire Tri-Series
May 26-27
New Zealand 0-1 Qatar (half: 0-1)
New Zealand 1-4 Croatia (half: 1-2)
NZL: Logan Rogerson
For more on New Zealand football visit www.nzfootball.co.nz

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