The New Zealand Futsal Whites have completed an impressive unbeaten run through the Group Stages at the OFC Futsal Nations Cup.
Marvin Eakins’ side has, as expected, proven far too strong for a plucky Tonga, winning 14-0 at Bruce Pulman Arena in Auckland.
It sets up a mouthwatering contest against the Solomon Islands in Thursday’s semi-finals with the Group B runners-ups having represented Oceania at the past five FIFA Futsal World Cups but having not yet really hit their straps this week.
The winner of this week’s tournament will represent Oceania at next year’s FIFA Futsal World Cup.
When New Zealand opened the scoring in the second minute through captain Dylan Manickum, it seemed as if Tonga could be on the end of another thrashing.
They had been whipped 20-2 by Vanuatu in their second match of the tournament. But it took the Kiwis another eight minutes to find the back of the net again when Stephen Ashby-Peckham fired home.
Tonga had competed well, defending in numbers, and their keeper Semisi Otukolo made several impressive saves.
The Kiwis though eventually broke through the Tongan resistance and scored three times in just over a minute in the latter stages of the first half.
Trailing 8-0 at the break, the Tongans came out resolute at the start of the second half and held out for nearly eight minutes before the Kiwis broke through again.
They did so with a brace in a minute to Adam Paulsen and New Zealand added four more goals as the Tongan defence tired.
Acknowledgement: Match report provided by OFC Media.
Main photo credit: OFC / Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Watch the match
New Zealand’s Stephen Ashby-Peckham and Fiji’s Tevita Waranaivalu speak to OFC following their respective Player of the Match performances:
Games played on Wednesday October 4, 2023
New Zealand 14 (Dylan Manickum 2’, Stephen Ashby-Peckham 9’, 31’, 10’, Jordan Ditfort 11’, Ethan Martin 15’, 37′, Art Twigg 16’ Oban Hawkins 16’, Rahan Ali 20’, 31’, Adam Paulsen 28’, 29′, own goal 33′)
Vanuatu 1 (Jayson Timatua)
Fiji 2 (Tevita Waranaivalu 8′, Setareki Hughes 10′)
New Caledonia 4 (Nicolas Foubert 3′ 36′, Christ Pei 6′)
Tahiti 5 (Vincent Tinomoe 5′, 22′, Tetuanui Tinomoe 10′, Michel Maihuri 15′, Akareva Riaria 36′)
Samoa 2 (Dilo Tumua 31′, Jefferson Fa’amatu 32′)
Solomon Islands 13 (George Stevenson 3′ 17′, Junior Mana 4′ 35′, own goal 5′, Micah Lea’alafa 10′,11′, 21′ 24′, Calvin Do’oro 22′ 38′, Owen Bunabo 26′, Clifford Misitana 32′)
OFC Futsal Nations Cup
Entry to the Bruce Pulman Arena is free for all games until finals day on Saturday October 7, 2023.
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