The Young Football Ferns have started the OFC U-17 Women’s Championships with a record 10-0 win over the Solomon Islands at North Harbour Stadium.
The largest-ever New Zealand win at U-17 women’s level sees the Young Football Ferns comfortably atop the standings and in pole position to qualify for September’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago.
New Zealand now takes on Papua New Guinea, who ran out 4-0 winners against Tonga in the opening game of the tournament, and can all-but confirm their place in the Caribbean with another victory on Wednesday.
New Zealand had never played a U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifier – the 2008 Young Football Ferns qualified for their U-17 World Cup as hosts – and coach Dave Edmondson was relieved to make such a positive start.
“It’s great to get the first one out of the way,” Edmondson said.
“Regardless of what is expected before the tournament it is still good to get underway.”
Early chances came and went for the home side until a 13th minute strike from Kate Loye settled the nerves.
Newly appointed captain Katie Bowen double the lead on the half hour mark with a thunderous long range effort and late first half goals from Hannah Wong and Holly Patterson stretched the gap to four goals at the break.
Wong needed two attempts and a fortuitous bounce to grab her second goal five minutes into the second spell, and Olivia Chance made it 6-0 with a crisp shot from the corner of the penalty area a minute later.
Defender Sivitha Boyce got in on the action in the 70th minute, while Patterson got on the end of a Ashleigh Ward cross seven minutes later before substitute striker Brittany Dudley-Smith helped herself to a classy brace of goals in the last 12 minutes to complete the rout.
With seven different players contributing to the score line, Edmondson was happy with his attacking options, but says defence was equally pleasing.
“At halftime, keeping the clean sheet to fulltime was the biggest aim. We wanted to maintain our structure and discipline and for the most part we did that.
“We had a number of players on the score sheet so that’s obviously pleasing but there’s still girls on the bench who could come in for us so that’s gives us plenty of variety in attack.”
New Zealand play Papua New Guinea at 3pm on Wednesday at North Harbour Stadium’s artificial pitch.
Story courtesy NZF Media
OFC U-17 Women’s Championship New Zealand 2010
North Harbour Stadium
Auckland New Zealand
Match Day 1 Result
Solomon Islands 0
New Zealand 10 (Kate LOYE 13, Katie BOWEN 30, Hannah WONG 45, 50; Holly PATTERSON 45+1, 77; Olivia CHANCE 56, Sivitha BOYCE 70, Brittany DUDLEY-SMITH 78, 87)
Solomon Islands: 1. Alice PATRICK (GK), 3. Joana ALICK, 4. Ella VAKATO, 5. Cathy AIHUNU (7. Veronica WAPUHANTA 35’), 6. Janise ONIKA, 9. Elizabeth MALAU, 13. Mary MAEFITI, 14. Merina PHILP JOE, 15. Veronica TOLIVAKA (Captain), 16. Joy TIMO (17. Rina HASI 68’), 18. Sally SAENI (19. Mizzy ONEASI 59’)
Coach: Luke EROI [SOL]
Yellow cards: Joy TIMO 64’, Rina HASI 89’
Red cards: Nil
New Zealand: 1. Chloe-May GEURTS (GK), 2. Rachel HEAD, 3. Tessa MCPHERSON , 4. Olivia CHANCE (16. Ashleigh WARD 71), 6. Evie MILLYNN, 7. Holly PATTERSON, 8. Kate LOYE (5. Brittany DUDLEY-SMITH 55), 9. Hannah CARLSEN (15. Kate CARLTON 81), 10. Hannah WONG, 14. Katie BOWEN (Captain), 17. Sivitha BOYCE
Coach: Dave EDMONDSON
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil