Solomons men, NZ women set futsal pace in Auckland

The Solomon Islands men’s team and New Zealand women’s team continue to set the pace after two days of competition at OFC Youth Futsal Tournament in Auckland.

Solomon Islands edged New Caledonia 3-2 on Thursday morning, in a top of the table clash, before thrashing Samoa 8-0 to make it four straight wins.

Baby Kurukuru coach Stanley Puairana was excited to secure another six points but has already turned his focus on his team’s last day of matches.

“So far we have 12 points and we’re getting excited about maybe going to the Olympics but we’re still taking it one game at a time, step-by-step,” he said.

“Two games in one day is really hard but I know our players will continue to try their best”.

New Zealand extended their winning streak to four in the women’s competition despite carrying several injuries.

The hosts edged the Auckland Football Federation 3-1 in the morning before outclassing Tonga 6-0.

Although their results weren’t as impressive as the day before, coach Ronan Naicker was pleased with the performances.

“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.”

New Caledonia remain second in the men’s standings after bouncing back from their Solomons defeat to thump American Samoa 9-2 in the afternoon.

But coach Vincent Vasapolli is already looking ahead.

“Another big day today but our meeting with New Zealand tomorrow will be the big game for us,” he said.

“We used a lot of energy today in our game against Solomon Islands and now we’re all very tired. A victory tomorrow will be very important for our mentality.”

Vanuatu and New Zealand only had one match each on day two but did all they could, outclassing Tonga 16-0 and American Samoa 19-2 respectively, to improve their records to two wins from three games.

“We’re happy with the performance of the boys. We discussed some things last night and this morning on how we are going to play this game and the boys executed what we discussed very well,” said Vanuatu coach Richard Lehi.

After a tough defeat to Solomon Islands on day one, New Zealand coach Marvin Eakins was pleased to see his players regain confidence and dominate American Samoa.

“It took us a while to actually get into things and it was hard to bounce back from yesterday’s result but the lads have shown what they can do now and I guess the challenge for us it to continue that form in the tough games that are coming up and keep the Solomons looking over their shoulders,” he said.

Source: RadioNZ