May 18, 2011
SUVA - The Futsal Whites stayed on track for a place in the 2011 OFC Futsal Championship semi-finals in Suva yesterday with a 21-1 thrashing of tournament newcomers Kiribati.
Matt Chandler’s side put the disappointment of Monday’s 4-4 draw with hosts Fiji behind them with a relentless display of finishing that saw them score, on average, every two minutes.
The New Zealanders are well placed to finish in the top two in Group A following Vanuatu’s 5-2 demolition of Fiji later in the afternoon, with their superior goal difference to nearest rivals Fiji likely to be a major factor in the final reckoning should they lose their final game to Vanuatu tonight.
The Futsal Whites always looked in command against the inexperienced Kiribati side, enjoying sustained periods of possession despite the sweltering heat inside Vodafone Arena. Through their constant movement and ability to lift the tempo at will, New Zealand were able to create a steady flow of goal scoring opportunities around the Kiribati defensive area and took a comfortable 12-0 lead into the halftime break.
All nine outfield players used managed to get themselves on the scoresheet, with Nathan Robertson (5), Dylan Manickum (4) and skipper Marvin Eakins (3) leading the charge. Jakub Sinkora, Miro Major and Mickey Malivuk each scored twice while Tariq Assad, Lucas Silva and Daniel Koprivcic chimed in with a goal apiece.
Most of the goals were the result of well-worked combination play around the Kirbati defensive area, with a large number of goals finished from close range.
Kiribati managed a consolation goal from an opportunist flicked header early in the second half, but other than that it was a clinical performance from the New Zealanders, who have a place in the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand in their sights.
Coach Matt Chandler was pleased with the way his side bounced back from the Fiji game and how his players managed to remain focussed throughout the game.
“I was very pleased with how the boys responded, because in many ways, last night’s game felt like a loss to us. The movement of the players today was good and we scored some nice goals, so this gives us plenty of momentum going into the rest of the tournament,” said Chandler.
“And goal difference could be a factor in the finish, so in that regard we’ve done ourselves some good today,” he added.
In Group B games yesterday New Caledonia demolished Tuvalu 11-1, while Tahiti went down 1-0 to tournament favourites Solomon Islands in a classic encounter in the last game of the day.
Going into the final day of group play, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are assured of a place in the semi-final, leaving New Zealand and Fiji in Group A and New Caledonia and Tahiti in Group B to battle it out for the final spots.
OFC Futsal Championship
New Zealand 21 (Dylan MANICKUM 0'33", 11'03", 26'10", 39'06"; Nathan ROBERTSON 1'43", 2'36", 20'55", 27'36", 28'38"; Jakub SINKORA 9'03", 9'54"; Miro MAJOR 10'34", 15'32"; Micky MALIVUK 14'05", 25'57"; Daniel KOPRIVCIC 17'08", Lucas SILVA 17'38", Marvin EAKINS 19'30", 21'39", 31'24"; Tariq ASSAD 32'21")
Kiribati 1 (Teemai RIINGA 22'03")
Remaining New Zealand Matches
May 18, 7.30pm: New Zealand v Vanuatu
May 19: semi finals
May 20: playoffs and final