After a lacklustre and goalless first half New Zealand stepped up their performance with left winger Michael Built to the fore.
Five minutes into the second spell, substitute Built opened the scoring with a low shot from the edge of the area, and the Hamilton teenager twice turned provider for Andrew Bevin, who ghosted in from the other flank to get on the end of Built crosses in the 69th and 80th minutes.
The Young All Whites open their World Cup campaign against Costa Rica next Monday morning (NZT) with matches against Burkina Faso (October 29) and Turkey (November 1) completing group play.
The style of win – the second on tour – was pleasing to New Zealand coach Steve Cain who singled out the team’s defensive effort, and the impact of his bench for particular praise.
“It’s good that we never conceded as that is something that we’ve worked on for quite a while and even when we made a lot of changes and had a makeshift back four we kept them well away from our goal.”
“Most of our guys have played three games in five days so there was an element of fatigue for some of them and it’s pleasing that the guys who came of the bench made a difference. It means we’ve got plenty of options now.”
Captain Gordon Murie was “comfortable” in his first start since an ankle injury and is now in contention for a start against Coast Rica in just over a week’s time, as will Blackburn Rovers midfielder Cameron Lindsay who was substituted early as a precautionary measure after a heavy fall.
The Young All Whites will train for two more days in Melbourne before flying out to the Nigerian City of Enugu for their Group D opener against the Costa Ricans.
New Zealand U-17: 3 (Michael Built 51, Andrew Bevin 69, 80)
Victoria Institute of Sport: 0
Darebin International Sports Centre, Melbourne
New Zealand line-up: Coey Turipa (GK), Josh Morrison, (Tane Gent 45), Gordon Murie (captain / Jack Hobson-McVeigh 60), Adam Thomas (Luis Estevez 30), Ashton Pett (Matt Gibbons 45), Zane Sole, Jamie Doris (Stephen Kibby 55), Cameron Lindsay (Tim Pilkington 5), Andrew Bevin, Thomas Spragg (Michael Built 25), Andrew Milne (Nikolai Molijn 30)
Substitutes not used: Patrick George (RGK). Alex Carr (RGK).
Coach: Steve Cain
FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009
October 24 – November 15
Young All Whites Schedule:
October 26
New Zealand v Costa Rica
Kick off: 7am (NZT)
October 29
New Zealand v Burkina Faso
Kick off: 4am (NZT)
November 1
New Zealand v Turkey
Kick off: 7am (NZT)
Story courtesy NZF Media