Oceania Football Confederation > News > 2016 OFC U-17 Women's Championship > NZ and PNG prepare for ultimate U-17 battle

NZ and PNG prepare for ultimate U-17 battle

The stakes are high with not only regional honours up for grabs at the tournament in Rarotonga, but also a spot at FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016.
Both sides head into the decider unbeaten in the competition, with New Zealand dominating all of their earlier matches, winning by double-figure margins in all four games and keeping a perfect clean sheet record.
While their scores have been less eye-catching than those of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea have been efficiently going about their business and boast the second-best defensive record with just five goals leaked in four games.
New Zealand coach Gareth Turnbull didn’t shy away from the fact that he was disappointed with the way the semi-final against Fiji unfolded, despite the 11-0 score, and is hoping to see improvement against Papua New Guinea.
“We were a little disappointed with how we played for periods in the semi-final, so for us it’s about learning from that and moving on,” Turnbull says.
“We are in good shape physically, we have a few injuries but we will assess that closer to the game.
“For most of these players it is their first experience with knockout football, so that plays a part, but we are certainly excited to be through to the final.”
Papua New Guinea will have to overcome the emotional aftermath of their last-minute 2-1 victory over New Caledonia, and coach Margaret Aka acknowledges that her side will have to play significantly better if they are to beat New Zealand.
Shutting down the striking pair of Jacqui Hand and Hannah Blake – who have 18 goals between them – will form a big part of the PNG plan.
“We really need to step up in our defence, New Zealand will be a massive challenge,” Aka says.
“We need to toughen up in our defence, be organised and make sure we limit the chances of New Zealand.
“The goal was always to make the final, we are there now, now we want to win it.”
In the earlier match at the CIFA Academy Fiji and New Caledonia will play for third position at the tournament, after both going down in the semi-finals.
It will be a first bronze medal at this level for whoever the winner is, with New Caledonia coming off a previous best finish of fourth and Fiji competing at the OFC U-17 Women’s Championship for the very first time.
New Caledonia could feel hard done by in their loss, conceding both goals off free kicks in the 2-1 defeat, and coach Matthieu Delcroix says they have unfinished business at the tournament.
“It is important we win this game because we don’t want to end like this,” Delcroix says.
“We are going to play well and do everything we can to win. I have told the girls not to be too sad, we will wake up tomorrow and be ready for the next game.
“I am confident we will do well in the last game.”
For Fiji coach Yogendra Dutt just qualifying for the semi-finals ticked off his major goal for the tournament, but he still wants to see his side put their best foot forward against New Caledonia.
“We are satisfied with what we have achieved already, but we would really love to go home with a bronze-medal finish,” Dutt says.
“Against New Caledonia it will be crucial for us to stay focussed, to not make silly little mistakes at the back, because that is what has cost us goals at times.
“Up front we need to work as a team, make sure we aren’t selfish with our chances and finish goals.”
Additional Information:
Fiji vs. New Caledonia
CIFA Academy
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Saturday 23 January 2016
Kick-off: 2pm (local)
Referee: Anna-Marie KEIGHLEY (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: John PAREANGA (COK)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie MINAN (PNG)
Fourth Official: Nelson SOGO (SOL)
Vital Statistics:
The 11-0 semi-final loss to New Zealand was the first time Fiji have failed to score at least two goals in a game at this tournament.
The Players: Goalkeeper Francine Lockington was the best player on the park for Fiji against New Zealand, producing a number of classy saves. Captain Cecelia Nainima marshals the troops at the back and reads the game well, making Fiji a challenging team to break down.
Fiji: 2. Cecelia NAINIMA, 3. Miliana NARUKU, 4. Margaret TABUANITOGA, 5. Sereima NAVUGA, 6. Bulou NAUGAVULE, 7. Laca TIKOSAYA, 8. Maca RALAGI, 9. Silina QARAWAQA, 10. Aliza HUSSEIN, 11. Louisa SIMMONS, 12. Ledua SENISEA, 13. Titilia WAQABCA, 14. Mere CIRIA, 15. Koleta LIKUCULACULA, 16. Cema NASAU, 17. Adi BAKANICEVA, 18. Harina ERASITO, 19. Francine LOCKINGTON (GK), 20. Laite SALAMEI (GK)
Coach: Yogendra DUTT (FIJ)
New Caledonia
Vital Statistics:
New Caledonia have scored a goal in all but one of their games – the 12-0 defeat by New Zealand – so far at the tournament.
The Players: Both Shaya Ihmeling and Jackie Pahoa caused problems for Papua New Guinea up front with their instinctive play and ability to beat a marker one-on-one. At the back Flaureen Ausu is a tough defender who can enter the midfield as well.
New Caledonia: 1. Karine XOZAME (GK), 2. Darnelle HACE, 3. Flaureen AUSU, 4. Mune BAKO, 5. Ami-Nata AJAPUHNYA, 6. Isabelle ILENGO, 7. Elise LALIE, 8. Jackie PAHOA, 9. Shaya IHMELING, 10. Marie-Laure PALENE, 11. Cassidy CAWA, 12. Lucinda KOINDREDI, 13. Océane ZASINA, 14. Yvonne XOWI, 15. Justine MALAXAN, 16. Jessica ALI SAÏD, 17. Nancy NYADOUN, 18. Katinka TAKAMATSU, 19. Joelle LEME, 20. Kathleen WAUNIE (GK)
Coach: Matthieu DELCROIX (FRA)
New Zealand vs. Papua New Guinea
CIFA Academy
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Saturday 23 January 2016
Kick-off: 5pm (local)
Referee: Avereii JACQUES (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Bernard MUTUKERA (SOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey SOLODIA (SOL)
Fourth Official: Robinson BANGA (VAN)
New Zealand
Vital Statistics:
New Zealand are aiming to go through an entire OFC U-17 Women’s Championship without conceding a goal for the second time. In the 2010 edition they played all three games without leaking a goal, while scoring 37 themselves.
The Players: Hannah Blake is an efficient striker who is on track to claim the Golden Boot. She scored a brace against Fiji last up and forms part of a potent New Zealand attack. Midfielder Gabe Jillings is a dangerous playmaker, combining good passing skills with the ability to dribble opponents.
New Zealand: 1. Anna LEAT (GK), 2. Claudia BUNGE, 3. Amber PHILLIPS, 4. Ally TOAILOA, 5. Michaela FOSTER, 6. Nicole METTAM, 7. Hannah BLAKE, 8. Malia STEINMETZ, 9. Samantha TAWHARU, 10. Sarah KRYSTMAN, 11. Jacqueline HAND, 12. Nadia OLLA (GK), 13. Kate WILLIAMS, 14. Rebecca LAKE 15. Francesca GRANGE, 16. Alosi BLOOMFIELD, 17. Emma MAIN, 18. Gabrielle JILLINGS, 19. Margaret JENKINS
Coach: Gareth TURNBULL (NZL)
Papua New Guinea
Vital Statistics:
Papua New Guinea haven’t conceded more than two goals in a match so far in this tournament, giving them the second-best defensive record behind New Zealand, with just five goals leaked in four games.
The Players: Robertlynn Kig proved a match winner for Papua New Guinea in their semi-final, scoring two goals off well-taken set pieces. New Zealand need to be on high alert if they give up free kicks anywhere near the goal with Kig on the field. Margaret Joseph is uncompromising at the back and runs a well-organised defensive unit.
Papua New Guinea: 1. Faith KASIRAY (GK), 2. Belinda GIADA, 3. Margaret JOSEPH, 4. Alison PAULIAS, 5. Robertlynn KIG, 6. Francisca MANI, 7. Natasha SAGEM, 8. Loretta YAGUM, 9. Selina UNAMBA, 10. Isabella NATERA, 11. Mercedes HAPOTO, 12. Anna SOS, 13.Serah TAMBOL, 14. Melissa JOFARI, 15. Anna MALARA, 16. Anila ROBERT, 17. Bridgit PAIME, 18. Samantha MATAN, 19. Ewin NANO, 20. Veronica VANUA (GK)
Coach: Margaret AKA (PNG)

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