The Papua New Guinea Under 16 National Football team flew out of Port Moresby today confident of a competitive show in the Oceania Football Confederation Men’s U16 play off for the 2019 FIFA Under 17 World Cup schedule for Peru next year.
The team will play against home-side the Solomon Islands in its first game on Sunday afternoon at the Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara and will play Vanuatu on Wednesday then New Zealand on Saturday hoping for a spot in the semi-finals.
PNGFA General Secretary, Dimirit Mileng when sending the team off emphasized discipline both on and off the field and that they were representing the country in an important regional football tournament.
“This is your first representative mission abroad and you are ambassadors of PNG. Play your best for the country and be disciplined playing and your attitude outside the game.” He told the players.
The team played out an impressive training match against PNG Champion team Toti City FC last week at the PNGFA Academy losing 4-2 after trailing 2-1 at half time.
They are expected to play a friendly against the Fiji National team tomorrow pending availability of fields.
The PNG side is coached by Anthony Pakakota, an OFC certified coach who coaches the Port Moresby Premier League side PS Ruts FC.
PNG Football Supporters club Executive Joseph Ealedona urged all PNG citizens, PNG linked business houses and friends in Honiara to support the team.
He thanked BeMobile Solomon Islands for stepping up to support the team while in the Solomon Islands.
PNG Senior men’s national team captain Michael Forster is in Honiara playing in the Solomon League and will be part of the PNG management team supporting the PNG Youth side while in Honiara.
The top two teams in this tournament will represent the Oceania region in the 2019 FIFA Men’s Under 17 World Cup in Peru.
PNG U16 Squad: 1. Andrew Junior Baniau, 2. Jesse Mandari, 3. Buttler Hosea, 4. Russell Patrom, 5. Elijah Potua, 6. Karlo Kelly, 7. Akaya Jason Wadunah, 8. Morientes Sow, 9. Joel Alex, 10. Renagi Ila, 11. Lee Navu Faunt, 12. MorisDevi, 13. Joseph Ealedona Jnr, 14. Josiah Daimoi, 15. Siegfried James Beschel, 16. Townsville Lakamanga, 17. Emmanuel David Bafeng, 18. Ben Boniepe, 19. Bruce Tiampo, 20. Ishmael Yopiyopi.