The Futsal Whites secured a second-placed finish at the OFC Futsal Championships on Saturday with a 4-1 victory New Caledonia at the Vodafone Arena in Suva, Fiji.
Scott Gilligan’s New Zealand side were forced to come from behind to do it though as Ludovic Boit pounced in the first 30 seconds to smash New Caledonia into the lead.
But three goals before halftime had the New Zealand side well on top as Miroslav Malivuk, Brayden Lissington and Daniel Burns all struck before a second half goal with five minutes to go from James Vaughan completed the scoring.
The Solomon Islands secured the Oceania Football berth at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia later this year with their 5-0 result over Fiji on the final day.
Gilligan said his side had firmly targeted qualification for Colombia 2016 with the silver medal very much a consolation prize for a squad that has been building for this competition for close to four years.
“We’re pleased to get the win tonight, I think the boys at least deserved to get the silver. It would have been nice to have beaten the Solomons, but that’s the way it goes,” Gilligan said.
“We’ve got a really good group of young players coming through, Luc (Saker) is one of the first of those coming through and you can see the skill level there. We’ve got some kids like that back home so I know the next four years is utilising those players.”
OFC Futsal Championships 2016
Saturday 14 February
New Zealand 4-1 New Caledonia (half: 3-1)
NZL: Miroslav Malivuk 12.40’, Brayden Lissington 15.39’, Daniel Burns 19.05’, James Vaughan 35.07’
NCL: Ludovic Boit 0.33’