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Redemption on the cards in day 2

After their 12-0 loss to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea are holding their chins high as they prepare for the second day of the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2017 at Ngahue Reserve in Auckland tomorrow.

Disappointed with the result but proud of her team’s effort, Papua New Guinea coach Rachel Wadunah is expecting an improved performance in their clash with New Caledonia now that the nerves from facing the defending champions first-up are behind them.

“They did the best they could, despite conceding goals. They played until the last minute,” she said.

“I’m am confident we will improve in our game against New Caledonia on Friday.”

Sitting third on the table after a narrow 1-0 victory over Samoa, another win for New Caledonia could move them up to at least second place, but coach Kamali Fitialeata is expecting Papua New Guinea to leave nothing on the field.

“I hope that we can take advantage of Papua New Guinea having lost their first match, but we also know that a team that gets wounded like that can be even more dangerous for us,” he said.

“We’ll prepare ourselves for that match and see what we can do.”

Opening the second day of action, a top-of-the-table clash between New Zealand and Fiji could see the debutants steal the lead, but Fiji coach Saroj Kumar is well-aware of the immense challenge ahead of them.

“We will try to hold them out as much as we can,” he said.

“I know New Zealand is a much better side then us, but we will try to do our best.”

Despite a slow first half against Papua New Guinea, New Zealand coach Gareth Turnbull is feeling positive heading into their Fiji clash, but knows the Melanesians will be quick to pick up on any errors from his side.

“We played Fiji at the OFC U-17 Women’s Championship last year so we expect a lot of those girls will be here and have had international experience,” he said.

“They’ll be organised and they’ll have a plan and if we don’t adhere to what we want to do – at a speed that’s quicker than they can wrap – then we’ll create troubles for ourselves.

“If we play well and play quickly then everything will be fine.”

The final match of the day will see both Tonga and Samoa fighting for their first points of the competition and although Samoa has proven their ability in the past – placing second in the 2015 edition of the competition – coach Martin Tamasese is expecting a neck-and-neck battle against their Polynesian neighbours.

“We’re well-prepared for all the matches we have to play and I know the next one against Tonga is going to be a hard one for us,” he said.

“We’re going to work on our defence and try to create more opportunities to score goals.”

After an upsetting loss to debutants Fiji, Tonga coach Christian Koaneti has had his full focus on fixing weaknesses in his side and is feeling positive about finding the net in their match against Samoa.

“Fiji was technically superior to us. We tried to play according to what we planned, but it didn’t turn out that way,” he said.

“I’m taking the loss to Fiji as something that helped us see where we needed to improve for the next game with Samoa.

“We will go all out against Samoa. We will work on our mistakes from the first match day and hopefully the results will be on our side.”

Papua New Guinea vs New Caledonia
Ngahue Reserve
Auckland, New Zealand
Friday 14 July
Kick-off: 12h30

Referee: Morgan ARCHER (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1:
Assistant Referee 2:
Fourth Official:

Papua New Guinea

Vital Statistics: Papua New Guinea currently sit at the bottom of the table on goal difference but with Samoa and Tonga’s losses in match day one, a win against New Caledonia would be enough to move Papua New Guinea at least one place up the table.

The Players: The goal margin against New Zealand could have been much higher without captain Margret Joseph cleaning up in the backline. Joseph denied several attempts, the most impressive in the 60th minute when goalkeeper Faith Kasiray was beaten and Joseph sprinted to the goal and managed to clear the ball from the line. Joseph’s speed, strength and leadership will create a tough challenge for New Caledonia’s strikers.

Coach Quote: “We need to make sure we train on getting the ball out wide so that we can defend and stop them coming through the midfield, so that we can play a strong game against New Caledonia.”

“I’m am confident we will improve in our game against New Caledonia on Friday.”

Papua New Guinea: 1. Faith KASIRAY (GK), 2. Natasha SAGEM, 3. Margret JOSEPH, 4. Isabella NATERA, 5. Bridget PAIME, 7. Marity SEP, 8. Alison PAULIAS, 9. Selina UNAMBA, 10. Nicollete AGEVA, 12. Belinda GIADA, 13. Ramona PADIO, 14. Leah KARO, 16. Serah TAMGOL, 17. Melisa JOFARI, 18. Jacklyn MAIYOSI, 19. Gorethy PAOFA, 20. Amatha MISTERA.

Coach: Rachel Wadunah (PNG)

New Caledonia

Vital Statistics: New Caledonia have never faced Papua New Guinea in this age group but the two nations did meet in the semi-final of last year’s U-17 competition in the Cook Islands. Papua New Guinea scraped through to the final with a 2-1 win after a scoring in the 5th minute of injury time in the second half.

The Players: Océane Forest was a key player in New Caledonia’s match against Samoa. Although Forest was unable to convert her several close attempts at goal, the high-pressing defender was behind the cross that Alice Wenessia connected with to score the single goal of the match. Forest’s strength in defence and accuracy in attack makes her an all-rounder on the field for New Caledonia.

Coach Quote: “I hope that we can take advantage of Papua New Guinea having lost their first match, but we also know that a team that gets wounded like that can be even more dangerous for us. We’ll prepare ourselves for that match and see what we can do.”

New Caledonia: 1. Karine XOZAME (GK), 2. Darnelle HACE, 3. Joséphine SAKILIA, 4. Ami-Nata AJAPUHNYA, 5. Sonia HNANGANYAN, 6. Isabelle ILENGO, 7. Océane FOREST, 8. Shaya IHMELING, 9. Alice WENESSIA, 10. Marie-Laure PALENE, 11. Jeanine HUMUNIE,12. Johana TAKAMATSU, 13. Ivonne XOWI, 14. Cassidy CAWA, 15. Valérie HOLUE, 16. Donatienne BALY, 17. Moïsette BROUSTET, 18. Isabelle HNAWEONGO, 19. Marie WANEUX, 20. Kathleen WAUNIE (GK).

Coach: Kamali FITIALEATA (NCL)

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