Pacific football news

Action from the Eastern Suburbs v Melville United match during the weekend. Photo Credit: New Zealand Football/Photosport

New Zealand’s Northern League features a congested chasing pack that is trying to catch Auckland City FC.

The third-placed Melville United were held to a 1-1 draw by Eastern Suburbs AFC (fourth) during their clash on Saturday, while Auckland United, who are in second, had to settle for a solitary point from their 1-1 draw with North Shore United AFC.

It all meant that Auckland City FC’s 5-0 win over the fifth-placed Birkenhead United on Saturday saw them move a point ahead of Auckland United on the ladder with a game in hand.

Western Springs trail Birkenhead only due to goal difference but they went down 3-2 to fellow mid-table side Bay Olympic FC during the weekend.

In the league’s other fixtures, Manukau United beat the West Coast Rangers 3-2, while the Northern Rovers beat the Hamilton Wanderers by the same scoreline.

Only eight points separate the top nine teams in the 12-strong league after eight rounds. The full points table can be found here.

In the 10-team Central League, Miramar Rangers and Wellington Olympic remain six points ahead of the pack in first and second place respectively.

Miramar beat Petone 4-0 during the weekend, while Olympic edged Western Suburbs 3-2.

In the league’s other matches, Lower Hutt City beat North Wellington 5-4, Wairarapa United defeated Wainuiomata 7-0, and Napier City Rovers battled to a 0-0 stalemate with Waterside Karori.

The Southern League is expected to get underway in July.

Meanwhile, All Whites striker Chris Wood kept up his hot form as he grabbed his 50th goal in a Burnley shirt during the Clarets’ 2-0 win over Fulham in the English Premier League on Tuesday morning NZT.

Hienghène Sport sit alone at the top of the standings in New Caledonia’s Super Ligue after they beat Dumbéa FC 3-1 during the weekend.

AS Kunie had also made a strong start to the season but they went down 4-2 to SC Ne Drehu, while defending champions Tiga Sport moved to second on the ladder courtesy of a 4-2 win over JS Baco.

In the league’s other fixtures from the weekend, AS Lossi topped AS Mont-Dore 2-1, Magenta defeated Qanano Sport 3-1, and Horizon Patho drew 0-0 with AS Wetr.

In the Solomon Islands, the pools have been confirmed for the Mariner National Beach Soccer Championship that will run from May 15-22 at DC Park in Honiara.

Pool A will feature Honiara, Choiseul, Central Islands, Guadalcanal, and Malaita, while Pool B is made up of Western, Makira Ulawa, Isabel, and Temotu.

Koloale FC have continued their dominance in the Solrais Women’s Premier League after they beat the RSIPF Royals 1-0 on Saturday.

The result was their fifth win of the season from as many matches, while Solright FC beat Marist 2-0 on Sunday to solidify second place on the ladder.

Frigates United are in third after they hammered Borderline United 9-0. In the weekend’s other fixtures, Haura FC beat West Honiara 4-1 and Naha beat Ha’arosia 2-1.

The Kia Orana Youth Football Festival in the Cook Islands concluded during the weekend.

Champions were crowned across the U-15 and U-18 age-groups for males and females and the Cook Islands Football Association is already excited about the next edition in 2023.

In the U-15 section, Puaikura FC claimed gold with a 3-0 win over Mangaia FA in the girls final, while Atiu FA won the boys division with a 3-1 victory against Aitutaki FA.

Tupapa Maraerenga won the U-18 women’s final as they edged Aitutaki 2-1, while Aitutaki won the men’s decider 3-1 over the previously-undefeated Nikao Sokattak.

U-18 men’s champions Aitutaki pose with their shield. Photo Credit: CIFA Media

In Tahiti, AS Venus continued their winning ways in the Ligue 1 playoff section with a 2-0 win over Central Sport on Saturday.

In the other matches from the top group of the playoffs, Dragon kept the pressure on Venus as they defeated Tiare Tahiti 5-2, while Tefana easily accounted for Pueu 9-1. Catch some highlights from Tahiti’s weekend of football here. Please note: the video is in French.

The men’s National Soccer League in Papua New Guinea is scheduled to get underway on July 17 and expressions of interest have been called for to enter this season’s competition.

The league is expected to have 10 teams and Lae City are the defending champions.

Meanwhile, the Papua New Guinea Football Association have named an 80-strong national women’s training squad as they begin their long-term preparations for the qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 that will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

There’s a wide mix of players in the squad and players from the northern part of the country will assemble in Lae while the Southern footballers are expected to congregate in Port Moresby.

In Tonga, a three-day Referee Instructor’s course is being held this week.

Football activities remain on hold in Fiji due to COVID-19.

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