New Zealand are only one game away from qualifying for next year’s FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup after beating Papua New Guinea at the OFC U-19 Championship tournament.
New Zealand will play host Tahiti in the semi-final of the tournament, with the winner qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Indonesia.
The youth All Whites won 5-0 in a largely one-sided affair in which their goal was rarely threatened.
The result means New Zealand have scored 28 goals at the tournament and conceded none.
PNG were playing their first game at the tournament, having defaulted their opening two pool games and then getting three points from their ‘abandoned’ game against Tonga.
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New Zealand broke through in the 19th minute when Wellington Phoenix midfielder Dan McKay was left free on the edge of the area and he fired into the top of the goal.
Six minutes later, McKay scored his second, another cracking shot, this time from 30 metres, that left PNG ‘keeper Christian Jimmy reaching for air.
In the 41st minute, New Zealand captain Finn Surman got his head to a corner and forced ‘keeper Jimmy to tip the ball over the crossbar.
By half-time, New Zealand were in control though they had lost two players, Jackson Jarvie and Theo Ettema, to first-half injuries.
After turning around 2-0 ahead, New Zealand extended their lead in the 60th minute when Jay Herdman struck a direct free kick from 25 metres, and the ball sailed over the ‘keeper and into the net.
PNG’s foul count increased as tired legs and frustration mounted, and four players went into the referee’s book.
With 10 minutes to go, defender Nigel Kiaka was sent off for collecting two yellow cards within a minute, both for fouls on Herdman.
In the 88th minute, New Zealand added their fourth goal when striker Oliver Colloty calmly steered the ball past the ‘keeper when he ran onto a through ball into space.
Two minutes into stoppage time, Colloty got another — his seventh of the tournament — to finish a fine New Zealand move involving five players.
New Zealand starting line-up: Joe Knowles, Jackson Jarvie, Adam Supyk, Finn Surman (c), Fin Conchie, Noah Karunaratne, Oliver Colloty, Jay Herman, Aaryan Raj, Dan McKay, Theo Ettema.
Subs: Oscar Mason (gk), Henry Gray (gk), Oliver Fay, Lukas Kelly-Heald, Marco Lorenz, Sebastian Barton-Ginger, Charlie Beale, Kian Donkers, Wilson Souphanthavong, Everton O’Leary.
Games played on Monday September 19, 2022
New Zealand 5 (Dan McKay 19′, 26′, Jay Herman 60′, Oliver Colloty 88′, 90+2′)
Papua New Guinea 0
Fiji 4 (Melvin Mani 35′, 45+1′, 56 pen’, Peniasi Rotidara 81′)
Samoa 1 (Victor Leddy 54’)
New Caledonia 1 (Willy Read 4′ pen)
Solomon Islands 0
Tahiti 1 (Manuaril Shan 12′)
Games to be played on Thursday September 22, 2022
The winners of the two semi-finals automatically qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup in Indonesia.
New Zealand v Tahiti
Stade Pater in Papeete, 6pm
Fiji v New Caledonia
Stade Pater in Papeete, 2.30pm
Games to be played Sunday September 25, 2022
Play-off for third place
Stade Pater in Papeete, 3pm (tbc)
Stade Pater in Papeete, 6pm (tbc)