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OFC – NZ BOOK FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP BERTH

New Zealand will be represented at a FIFA World Cup for just the fifth time after beating Tonga 6-0 to capture the 2006 OFC U-20 Women’s Championship in Samoa on Saturday.

Goals from Caitlin Campbell, Ali Riley, Emma Humphries, Annalie Longo and second half substitutes Helen Collins and Emma Harrison saw New Zealand predictably secure Oceania’s berth at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Russia from August 17-September 3.

John Herdman’s victorious side, who qualified with a 33-1 goal count in five matches, follow in the stud-marks of the New Zealand senior women’s team which qualified for the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991.

The only other New Zealand teams to qualify for FIFA World Cup’s were John Adshead’s 1982 All Whites to Spain and the 1997 U-17 men to Egypt. New Zealand’s other World Cup appearance came when it hosted the 1999 U-17 men’s championship.

“This is a just a dream come true, a very special day these girls will remember for the rest of their lives,” Herdman said afterwards.

“To actually qualify for a World Cup, wow…for the average New Zealander that’s what dreams are made of”

New Zealand Soccer chief executive Graham Seatter is convinced Sunday’s victory is the start of a special chapter in the sport’s history following Australia’s departure to the Asian confederation (AFC).

“This is a huge step forward for us…in the past we haven’t even participated at World Cup qualifiers and now we’ve done it,” Seatter said.

“This is the first six months of us getting serious about women’s football so it’s nice to get such a fantastic result so early in our programme.”

Captain Kirsty Yallop knows the trick now is for New Zealand to prepare properly to ensure they are competitive in Russia.

“This means everything…this was our ultimate goal and dream to go to Russia. Everyone’s really excited and can’t wait to go,” Yallop said.

“Now we’ve just got to put the effort in to ensure we’re competitive…it’s going to be a huge step up.”

New Zealand had thumped Tonga 16-0 in a pre-tournament friendly and 7-0 in their Group A encounter earlier in the tournament.

Tonga fought gamely in the final and had a heroine in goalkeeper Siaila Laakulu who pulled off a string of top-class saves to deny New Zealand double figures.

But the result was never in any doubt from the moment 15-year-old winger Caitlin Campbell finished coolly after Annalie Longo and threaded a ball through Tonga’s offside trap in the eighth minute.

Riley made it 2-0 in the 29th minute after a last gasp cross from Emma Humphries who was then rewarded herself with a well-taken 40th minute strike.

Longo made it 4-0 a minute before halftime after another full-stretch cross from Humphries on the byline.

New Zealand’s small but rowdy band of parental supporters had to wait until the 81st minute for the fifth goal from Collins before Harrison completed the rout in stoppage time.

“You could see it in the girls’ eyes at halftime that they knew they were going to Russia. It was just a matter of keeping them relaxed and telling them to enjoy the moment,” Herdman said.

“We haven’t been troubled at any stage…we had only three shots on target against us the whole tournament.”

Central midfielder Katie Hoyle was New Zealand’s standout player in the decider with fullbacks Ria Percival and Riley and Yallop again solid.

New Zealand: Aroon Clansey, Ria Percival, Hannah Bromley, Hannah Rishworth, Ali Riley, Katie Hoyle, Annalie Longo (Abby Erceg 46), Kirsty Yallop (captain), Sarah Gregorius (Helen Collins 63), Emma Humphries, Caitlin Campbell (Emma Harrison 58).

Tonga: Siaila Laakulu, Kaati Malua, Karen Utaatu, Pesalini Lave, Marion Tuipulotu (Sela Aleamotua 88), Laura Lolohea, Salome Vaenuku, Penateti Feke (captain), Makeleta Folaumoetao, Vaisima Manumua (Silia Falesiva 64), Nasaleti Kalavi.

2006 OFC U-20 WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP – SUMMARY

GROUP A

Match day 1:

March 30, 2006

New Zealand 4 (Hannah Rishworth 51, Ria Percival 62, 79, Ali Riley 63) Solomon Islands 0. Halftime: 0-0.

Tonga 4 (Kaati Malua, Salome Vaenuku, Marion Tuipulotu 2) Vanuatu 1 (Fabrina Serveux). Halftime: 0-0.

Match day 2:

April 1, 2006

New Zealand 11 (Abby Erceg 30, Sarah Gregorius 39, Ria Percival 41, Hannah Bromley 42, Renee Leota 43, Kirsty Yallop 50, 57, 83, Helen Collins 46, 59, Ali Riley 60) Vanuatu 0. Halftime: 5-0.

Tonga 2 (Penateti Feke 39, 65) Solomon Islands 1 (Vanessa Inifiri 61). Halftime 1-0.

Match day 3:

April 3, 2006

New Zealand 7 (Caitlin Campbell 1, Petria Rennie 13, Kirsty Yallop 41, 63, Emma Harrison 43, Ali Riley 53, Emma Humphries 71) Tonga 0. Halftime 4-0.

Solomon Islands 1 (Layda Samani 18) Vanuatu 1 (Leisoko Masauvakalo 45). Halftime: 1-1.

Group A P W D L GF GA PTS

NZL 3 3 0 0 22 0 9

TON 3 2 0 1 6 9 6

SOL 3 0 1 2 2 7 1

VAN 3 0 1 2 2 16 1

GROUP B

Match day 1:

March 30, 2006

New Caledonia 0 Papua New Guinea 3 (Pauline Turakaur 45, Zeena Limbai 58, Jacquline Chalau 87). Halftime 0-1.

Samoa 3 (Suitupe Tafafa 2, Josephone Ane) Fiji 0. Halftime 2-0.

Match day 2:

April 1, 2006

Papua New Guinea 6 (Zeena Limbai 11, 18, 63, 66, Bridget Nakas 12, Daisy Winas 32) Fiji 1 (Savaira Ratu 83). Halftime: 4-0.

Samoa 3 (Suitapa Tafafa 3) New Caledonia 0. Halftime: 2-0.

Match day 4:

April 4, 2006

Samoa 1 (Florence Lam Sam 50) Papua New Guinea 0. Halftime: 0-0.

Fiji 3 (Radilaite Marama 52, Yashreen Begum 77, Savaira Ratu 82 pen) New Caledonia 0 Halftime: 0-0.

Group B P W D L GF GA PTS

SAM 3 3 0 0 7 0 9

PNG 3 2 0 1 9 2 6

FIJ 3 1 0 2 4 9 3

NCL 3 0 0 3 0 9 0

SEMIFINALS

April 6, 2006

New Zealand 5 (Caitlin Campbell 6, 9, 18; Kirsty Yallop 40, Ali Riley 90) Papua New Guinea 1 (Jennifer Leo 7). Halftime: 4-1.

Samoa 2 (Faavae Taumua 11, Suitupe Tafafa 56) Tonga 3 (Karen Utaatu 5 pen, 67 pen; Penateti Feke 73). Halftime: 1-1

3rd and 4th PLAYOFF

April 8, 2006

Samoa 1 (Frances Ane 60) Papua New Guinea 4 (Jacqueline Chalau 6, Jennifer Leo 45, 83, Daisy Winas 50). Halftime: 0-2.

FINAL

April 8, 2006

New Zealand 6 (Caitlin Campbell 8, Ali Riley 29, Emma Humphries 40, Annalie Longo 44, Helen Collins 81, Emma Harrison 90) Tonga 0. Halftime: 4-0.

OFC U-20 CHAMPIONS – NEW ZEALAND

SILVER MEDAL – TONGA

BRONZE MEDAL – PAPUA NEW GUINEA

OFC FAIRPLAY AWARD – NEW ZEALAND

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