New Zealand Win Oceania U-19 Championship Title

New Zealand made it a clean sweep at the Oceania U-19 Championship, the six-time champions finishing with a 9-0 win over Tonga on their way to a place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in France.

Despite losing their goalkeeper before the tournament, Fiji secured their best ever placing at an OFC U-19 Women’s event after beating New Caledonia 2-1 to finish second behind the Kiwis, while third-placed Papua New Guinea drew 1-1 with Samoa in the day’s final encounter.

Hannah Blake got the opener for the Kiwis, Emma Main then taking centre stage with four goals, before Deven Jackson, Michaela Foster and Grace Jale added one each and reserve keeper Helen Tahitua conceded an own goal in injury time.

New Zealand picked up the Fairplay Award, going five matches without a single caution, and in the individual awards, Emma Main took home the Golden Boot award for her 11 goals in 5 games, while Fijians Ateca Tuwa and Luisa Tamanitoakula earned the Golden Glove and Golden Ball respectively.

New Zealand are the first qualifiers for the 2018 U-20 World Cup, other than the hosts, with the tournament to be played from 7 to 26 August. The four venues will be: Rennes (Roazhon Park), Saint-Brieuc (Stade Fred-Aubert), Saint-Malo (Stade Marville) and Vannes (Stade de la Rabine).

The European final qualifiers are being staged in Northern Ireland net month, with England and Scotland also involved.

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