New Zealand’s next opponents at the OFC U-19 Championship have never won an international fixture at U-20 level.
American Samoa face the Darren Bazeley-coached New Zealand side in their second group game at Tahiti’s 5,000-seater Stade Fautaua on Sunday September 11 (1pm NZT).
Main photo: New Zealand coach Darren Bazeley … his team leads Group A.
The American Samoa side lost their opening game 6-0 to the Solomon Islands.
Their squad consists of players drawn entirely from their domestic competitions and includes five 16-year-olds in Pago Isu, Jimmy Dong, Maselino Feulu, Petu Pouli and Johnica Collins.
America Samoa’s best result at age-group level was a 1-1 draw against Papua New Guinea in 2014.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand squad will be without goalkeeper Joe Knowles, Jackson Jarvie and Aaryan Raj who remain in Auckland for the Chatham Cup final with their Eastern Suburbs club.
They will join the national squad in Tahiti in time for the final group game (against Solomon Islands) and for any games at the knockout stage of the tournament.
New Zealand won their opening game at the tournament 8-0 against the Cook Islands.
READ MORE: Match report for New Zealand v Cook Islands >>>>
The finalists at the tournament automatically qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup in Indonesia.
Penieli ATU, Poasa COLLINS, Afa SIONE, Pama FETUAO, Nofomuli UITALIA, Petu POULI, Kelvin SEONG, Johnica COLLINS, Pago ISU, Jimmy DONG, Maselino FEULA, Tamati LILO, Nuumotu SASALA, Ioane PALEPUA, Zion MOALA, Sekone FAAOGA, Chris SELENI, Leon APOROSA, William HOLLISTER, Rex IOSE, Viliami Unga TOPUI. Head coach: Ruben LUVU.
Adam SUPYK, Isaac HUGHES, Finn SURMAN, Fin CONCHIE, Noah KARUNARATNE, Jackson MANUEL, Oliver COLLOTY, Jay HERDMAN, Oliver FAY, Oscar MASON, Lukas KELLY-HEALD, Marco LORENZ, Dan MCKAY, Sebastian BARTON-GINGER, Charlie BEALE, Kian DONKERS, Theo ETTEMA, Everton O’LEARY, Henry GRAY, Wilson SOUPHANTHAVONG. Head coach: Darren BAZELEY.
OFC appear to have recorded 3-0 default losses to Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea after they were “unable to play” in their opening round games.
Tables at the official OFC tournament site show the following standings in the groups.
Wednesday September 14 (1pm NZT): New Zealand v Solomon Islands
The group winners and runners-up from each group will progress to the quarter-final stage, as well as the two highest-ranked third-placed teams.
Q1: Winner Group A v Best performed 3rd team from B/C
Q2: Winner Group B v Best performed 3rd team from A/C
Q3: Winner Group C v Runners-up Group A
Q4: Runners-up Group B v Runners-up Group C
Winners Q1 v Winners Q2
Winners Q3 v Winners Q4
About the OFC U-19 Championship
New Zealand have won the championship at seven of the 22 previous tournaments.
New Zealand are the current title holders, having won in 2018, the last time the championship was held.