New Zealand swamp Vanuatu to book tournament semi-final against Tonga

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New Zealand have overwhelmed Vanuatu 27-0 at Stade Pater in Papeete to confirm their place as Group B winners at the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship, and set up a semi-final with Tonga on Sunday (NZT).

The winner of the tournament in Tahiti will qualify for the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in the Dominican Republic.

Main photo credit: OFC Media / Christophe Fotozz.

New Zealand, the pre-tournament favourites, flexed their muscles and showed their credentials in a dominant display that ensured a 100% record in the group stages.

Four goals in the first half by centre forward Angela Pivac set the tone for the ninety minutes, with captain Ela Jerez at the heart of her side’s attacking endeavours.

Jerez herself grabbed two in the first 45 minutes to add to the score.

Photo credit: OFC Media / Christophe Fotozz.

For all of their effort, Vanuatu struggled to make an imprint on proceedings.

The occasional foray into the Kiwis’ half was the most they could muster.

Jacklyne Samson had the best chance of the match for her side, drilling into the grateful arms of New Zealand ‘keeper Brooke Neary from about 10 metres.

There was no letup in the second half, with Pivac adding to her tally and Jerez clinching her hat-trick just before the hour mark.

Substitutes Hannah Saxon and Pia Vlok came on and duly scored as Vanuatu struggled to hold onto the ball.

Vlok went on to complete her hat-trick late in the second half, with Laura Bennett also coming off the bench to get her name on the scoresheet.

A late penalty was awarded to the Kiwis but Vanuatu ‘keeper Jenifer Homu produced an excellent save to deny Bennett.

Victory for New Zealand sees them top Group B, with Tonga confirmed as their semi-final opponents.

For Vanuatu, they will face the Solomon Islands in the play-off for 7th place on Monday (NZT).

Acknowledgement: Match report provided by OFC Media.

Watch the match


Game played on Thursday September 21, 2023

Vanuatu 0
New Zealand 27 (Angela Pivac ‘3, 8′, 22′ 33′ 55′, 69′, Amber de Wit 6′, Putri Ardana 14′, 45′, Natalie Young 19′, Ela Jerez 20′, 38′ ,58′, Kara McGillivray 29′, own goal 45+2′, Hannah Saxon 49′, Mackenzie Bryant 60′, 78′, Isla Cleall-Harding 66′, 68′, 76′, Pia Vlok 72′, 81′, 84′, 90+5′, Laura Bennett 83’, 90+2′)

Cook Islands 0
Fiji 4 (Sisilia Tuvou Kuladina 13′, 41′, Kasanita Tabua 21′, Elesi Tabunase 37′)

Group B

Group A

New Zealand squad

Putri Ardana (Auckland United)
Laura Bennett (Melville United)
Mackenzie Bryant (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Sophie Campbell (Palmerston North Marist)
Isla Cleall-Harding (Taradale AFC)
Amber De Wit (Nomads United)
Charli Dunn (Western Springs)
Alyssha Eglinton (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Emily Humphrey (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Ela Jerez (Western Springs_

Kara McGillivray (Auckland United)
Kyra Morgan (Western Suburbs)
Brooke Neary (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Angela Pivac (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Katie Pugh (Nelson Suburbs)
Holly Robins (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Hannah Saxon (Eastern Suburbs)
Pia Vlok (Auckland United)
Natalie Young (Hamilton Wanderers)

Tournament schedule

Games to be played on Sunday September 24, 2023

Semi-final 1 (3pm NZT)

Tahiti v Fiji 

Semi-final 2 (6pm NZT)

Group B New Zealand v Tonga

Games to be played on Monday September 25, 2023

Play-off for 7th place (3pm NZT)

Solomon Islands v Vanuatu

Play-off for 5th place (6pm NZT)

New Caledonia v Cook Islands

Games to be played on Wednesday September 27, 2023

Play-off for 3rd place (3pm NZT)
Final (6pm NZT)

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