Women lead the way in futsal champs

Favourites New Zealand have continued their dominance in the women’s competition at the OFC Youth Futsal Tournament while their male counterparts are well and truly back on track after a massive win on the second day of action at Bruce Pulman Arena in Auckland.

The women began in hugely impressive fashion yesterday, stamping their authority early on with a pair of high-scoring victories, 10-1 over Tonga and 12-2 against Samoa. They faced a far more familiar rival this morning in the form of an invitational team from the Auckland Football Federation and again proved too strong, albeit triumphing this time by a much smaller margin with a 3-1 win.

The men’s team experienced more of an emotional rollercoaster on the opening day, starting with a 13-1 outclassing of Tonga before being humbled 6-1 by the Solomon Islands. They therefore needed to bounce back this afternoon to keep their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games alive and did just that by going on the goal trail against American Samoa, several players running rampant to earn a 19-2 success.

Sam Wright, Adam Paulsen, Oban Hawkins and Arzan Todywalla all scored at least four times in the male team’s only game of the day while Lily Fisher struck a double for the women against AFF before Macey Fraser hit a hat-trick against Tonga.

Although their results didn’t quite hit the heights of the day before, women’s coach Ronan Naicker was pleased with the performances and hailed the ability of his players to push on in testing circumstances.

“We were struggling a little bit with injuries so we had to manage with that and I think the girls controlled both games really well so I’m happy,” he said.

“Now we’ve got to get through the recovery properly and prepare for tomorrow like we would for any other game.”

Although AFF were unlucky to fall short of a win against Samoa in their second match, coach Maxine Cooper was impressed with the showing from her side in both matches.

“I was especially pleased with this morning, we gave New Zealand a good run for their money and the girls defended really well against them,” she said.

“I think we were just a bit tired this afternoon but I’m really happy with how we went today.”

After the disappointment of yesterday afternoon, New Zealand men’s coach Marvin Eakins was pleased to see his players regain their confidence and completely dominate American Samoa.

“It took us a while to actually get into things and it was hard to bounce back from yesterday’s result,” he said.

“But the lads have shown what they can do now and I guess the challenge for us is to continue that form in the tough games that are coming up and keep the Solomons looking over their shoulders.”

The New Zealand men will look to put further pressure on the table-topping Solomon Islands tomorrow when they take on New Caledonia and Samoa while the women can confirm their berth in Buenos Aires next year with further positive results against Samoa and AFF.

 OFC Youth Futsal Women’s Tournament Results – Day Two

AFF Futsal 1 (Petra Buyck 23’)

New Zealand 3 (Lily Fisher 4’, 8’, Emily Gillion 29’)

HT: 0-2

New Zealand 6 (Macey Fraser 4’, 7’, 11’, Tilly James 18’, Hannah Reddy 25’, Lily Fisher 30’)

Tonga 0

HT: 3-0

AFF Futsal 1 (Michaela Buckley 4’)

Samoa 4 (Hunter Malaki 10’, 15’, Alisa Tuatagaloa 20’, Sina Sataraka 24’)

HT: 1-2

OFC Youth Futsal Men’s Tournament Result – Day Two

New Zealand 19 (Sam Wright 4’, 12’, 21’, 23’, Adam Paulsen 7’, 10’, 10’, 24’, Oban Hawkins 9’, 12’, 19’, 20’, Arzan Todywalla 15’, 24’, 25’, 26’, 28’, Logan Wisnewski 25’, 26’)

American Samoa 2 (Walter Pati 5’, 20’)

HT: 8-1

OFC Youth Futsal Women’s Tournament Fixtures

(Bruce Pulman Arena, Auckland)  

Samoa vs New Zealand

Friday 6 October, 11.30am

New Zealand vs AFF Futsal

Friday 6 October, 2.30pm

OFC Youth Futsal Men’s Tournament Fixtures
(Bruce Pulman Arena, Auckland)  


New Caledonia vs New Zealand

Friday 6 October, 1pm

Samoa vs New Zealand

Friday 6 October, 4pm

Vanuatu vs New Zealand

Saturday 7 October, 10am