Papua New Guinea bounced back incredibly well from their opening defeat to become masters of their own destiny with a hugely improved performance against Vanuatu.
Overwhelmingly more organised than in their opener, Akaya Wadunah played a more controlling role from the centre of defence which helped keep the side in formation and on track.
After a nervous start Anthony Pakapota’s side soon found the swing of things and started applying pressure in the Vanuatu half.
It took just seven minutes for Papua New Guinea to find the crack in the Vanuatu defence as Siegfried Beschel latched onto a long ball over the backline and fired it past an approaching Brendon Tankon to open the scoring.
Just over ten minutes later and Papua New Guinea added a second as Renagi Ila got the final touch to put the ball over the line from a corner.
Vanuatu came out of the sheds much stronger than they’d appeared in the first half, playing some decent football and stringing together some good passages of play, however they were unable to really threaten Baniau and his goal.
The third goal came from just three passes after Papua New Guinea won possession, played a pass through midfield before popping it on to Morris Devi who took a couple of touches before firing past Tankon.
Akaya Wadunah added the fourth with a powerful shot from just outside the box into the top right corner, before Beschel made it five with a scooped shot into the top of the net.
Papua New Guinea coach Anthony Pakakota said he didn’t make any changes to his starting lineup from Match Day 1 as he tried to build his side’s confidence back up after their crushing opening defeat.
“For their age, their confidence was really dented from the first game and we had to work on getting their self-confidence back up.
“We wanted to be doing more quick recovery while defending and then going forward at pace.
“We came here to win this game, we fixed up all the errors that we had in the first game and wanted badly to win this to give us a fighting chance in our final game against New Zealand.”
Another heavy loss left Vanuatu coach feeling for his charges, but recognized they were beaten by a stronger team today.
“We worked hard but unfortunately PNG had a good day today too. We were a bit slow and off the pace, but it’s good to see the boys give their best and try to hold their positions.”