After a tough opening loss to Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea responded by recording a 5-0 win of their own against Vanuatu with Siegfried Beschel among the star performers.
The young striker scored twice – the opener in the 7th minute before closing out the scoring when he scooped a shot into the top of the net in the 79th minute for Papua New Guinea’s fifth.
Beschel’s origins are in Papua New Guinea’s Manus Province and Germany, but the 16-year-old was born and raised in Madang Province.
“I’m a proud Papua New Guinean and always keep my heritage high so representing Papua New Guinea is a privilege for me,” said Beschel.
“It was challenging for me coming into this tournament after finishing my soccer season in Australia playing for Wynumm Wolves U-18 team in the Queensland Premier League.
“I think in the first match I was not prepared but it helped me to build my confidence back for the second match,” he continued.
“I am so happy scoring those two goals, especially having my father here witnessing me play and scoring the two goals.”
Beschel’s father, also named Siegfried, has a long involvement in football as was this year elected president of Madang Football Association for the second time.
“My father is a big role model for me and his presence gave me that morale boost to put extra effort into my game to make him proud.”
With three points in the bag, Papua New Guinea are heading into their final group game against New Zealand knowing another win would see them through to the semi-finals.
And having seen Solomon Islands do what has long seemed like the impossible, Beschel and his teammates have gained a bit of added confidence.
“The final game against New Zealand will be hard, but my advice to the boys is keep your heads high and always think positive.”