What New Zealand needs to do to win OFC U-19 Women’s Championship

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New Zealand coach Leon Birnie says it’s clear what his team need to do to beat Fiji in front of a big home crowd in Saturday’s final of the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship.

They’ll need good movement, move the ball quickly and be clinical in the final third of the pitch, he said in a pitchside interview after his side beat Cook Islands 5-0 in the tournament semi-final.

“Hopefully, if we do that, we can come out victorious in the final,” he said.

“It should be a really good game.

“I’m expecting a big crowd for the final.”

Of the Fiji side, Birnie said: “They’ll be tough. They’re athletic; they’re physical; they’re fast.

“They’ve got a couple of really good players in that side.”

New Zealand would need to be clinical in the final third of the pitch, have better movement and move the ball quickly.

Birnie acknowledged the performance of Cook Islands in the semi-final, saying they had been hard to break down throughout the tournament, conceding only a couple of goals till they met New Zealand.

“It took us about 20 minutes to get to grips with some ideas as to how we were going to break them down.

“Their ‘keeper was outstanding as well.”

READ MORE: New Zealand one game from spot at 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup >>>>

READ MORE: Our stories about the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship >>>>


Game played on Wednesday July 5, 2023


New Zealand 5 (own goal 22′, Emma Pijnenburg 26′, Lara Colpi 45+2′, Ruby Nathan 70′, Kiara Bercelli 87′)
Cook Islands 0)


Game to be played on Saturday July 8, 2023


New Zealand v Fiji
HFC Stadium, Suva, 7pm (NZT)

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