Emma Rolston’s four-goal rampage
She only managed to get her name on the scoresheet in one game, but that was enough for Emma Rolston to secure the Golden Boot award as top goal scorer.
Four successful strikes from Rolston between the 15th and 73rd minute of the match blew opponents Vanuatu off the park, accounting for a third of New Zealand’s goals in the 12-0 romp.
Rolston finished the tournament with one goal more than her nearest rivals, teammate Martine Puketapu and Papua New Guinea’s Meagen Gunemba.
Vanuatu’s return
It was just the second time Vanuatu have appeared at the OFC U-20 Women’s Championship, and the first since 2006.
While results didn’t go their way, finishing last with 20 goals against and none for, Vanuatu showed great spirit and took away the tournament’s Fair Play Award.
Holding Tonga and Papua New Guinea to four goals in consecutive matches should provide plenty of confidence for the side ahead of their 2015 campaign.
Tonga’s goal against New Zealand
They may not have been directly responsible for the ball entering the back of the net, with it being recorded as an own goal, but Tonga’s first ever goal against a Kiwi side at this level was met with joyous celebrations nonetheless.
The goal in the 24th minute of the encounter was 12 years in the making, with Tonga failing to score in their three previous meetings with New Zealand.
The 3-1 loss was also the closest margin ever recorded between the two nations at U-20 level.
Awards evenly spread
History shows New Zealand squad members are often the main recipients of the tournament’s individual awards, but in 2014 players from three different nations claimed the accolades.
While New Zealand’s Rolston took home the Golden Boot, the Golden Ball (MVP) went to Papua New Guinea’s Gunemba who impressed with some dominant performances which helped lift her side to second position.
The Golden Gloves for best goalkeeper were awarded to Tonga stopper Tangimausia Ma’afu.
New Zealand’s tally impressive yet again
In their last four appearances at the OFC U-20 Women’s Championship New Zealand have never conceded more than one goal in total, or scored less than 18.
In 2014 the Kiwi team finished with a goal difference of +17, meaning they could have lost a match and still won the competition comfortably.