Australia was in a class of its own, defying the wet and slippery conditions on offer at Maroochydore Soccer Centre to completely overwhelm Tonga by 14 unanswered goals.
Having already won Group B, tonight’s display was a dress rehearsal for the final playoff starting 28 February.
The young Aussies navigated the conditions well and did not seem to pertubed by the weather unlike the two sides that struggled in the earlier match.
The goal-fest was in complete contrast to the first match of the evening between New Zealand and the Solomon Islands which ended in a nil all draw.
Had it not been for an outstanding display of goalkeeping by Tonga’s Ataisi Tukimaka, the margin of victory would have been much greater.
Indeed the Tongans did well to not let the score run away in the second half after the Australians had amassed nine goals at the break.
Richie Carlos Cardozzo was the star attraction with a mighty six goal haul in the first half. Before the match he was sitting on five goals for the tournament, just one behind the top goalscorer of the 2003 OFC U-17 Qualifying Tournament, Osea Vakatalesau of Fiji, who tallied six goals over in Group A which finished last Saturday.
Cardozzo took his tournament tally to eleven goals, though this came with an extra game compared to Vakatalesau.
The other positive aspect of the contest was no bookings. The rain continues to pour on and off tonight restricting the crowd attendance. Vanuatu currently leads Tahiti 2-1 in the last match of the night, and in Group B.
goals: 15 Richard Carlos Cardozzo 1′, 6′, 28′, 36′, 41′, 43′; 19 Dane Richardson 11′, 37′; 12 Kristian Sarkies 39′; 6 Evangelos Karavitis 52′; 20 Oliver Totani 65′; 10 Adam Michael Casey 72′; 14 Matt Hilton 75′; 17 Angelo Martino 89
Weather: Rain, slippery conditions – humid