New Zealand coach Leon Birnie says his players took time to settle in their OFC U-16 Women’s Championship final against Fiji.
“We weren’t playing the way that we normally do,” he said after his team’s 1-0 win in Tahiti.
Locked 0-0 at the break, Birnie said he told his players:
“This is what finals should be like.
“It’s an intense game. I just spoke (about) trying to shift the ball multiple times and expose them down the flanks and then just around having a bit more quality in the final third.”
Katie Pugh’s goal four minutes into stoppage time ensured New Zealand will represent Oceania at next year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.