Oceania’s two representatives at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil, New Zealand and Solomon Islands, have one last match remaining to stamp their mark on the tournament.
New Zealand went down in their opening Group A Match against Angola 2-1 before being downed 3-0 by Brazil. They will take on Canada this afternoon in the hopes of securing their first win of the competition which will lift them off the bottom of the table.
Solomon Islands are yet to score their first goal in a World Cup having been kept off the scoresheet by their Group F opponents Italy and Paraguay in 3-0 and 7-0 defeats respectively.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup debutants will play their final group match against Mexico on November 3.
Following their second defeat in as many games, New Zealand coach Jose Figueira remained optimistic about his squad and what they have and will achieve.
“I thought we were absolutely fantastic for 80 minutes,” he said.
“Then unfortunately we made two mistakes but I’m never going to point the finger, I thought the guys were fantastic from front to back and we fought at the same level against a team that is one of the favourites for the tournament. Although the result says a loss on paper, for me it’s a big win in terms of the heart we showed, the way we want to play and putting New Zealand on the map,” he added.
A place in the knockout stages is still a possibility if they can earn a win and potentially progress as one of the best third-placed teams.