New Zealand have been given a football lesson in their opening match at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships in Chile.
The European Champions have trounced the Kiwis by 6-1.
New Zealand produced a respectable display in the second-half, scoring a goal and conceding only once in the 90th minute, but a disastrous period just before halftime where four goals were conceded well and truly settled the match.
France started in ominous form consistently peppering the New Zealand goal. Midfielder Christ Emmanuel Maouassa made a piercing run up the left flank and his cross took a deflection, hitting the post inside the opening ten minutes.
New Zealand conceded initially in the 15th minute when James McGarry scored an own goal, accidentally tapping the ball it into his own net while trying to defuse a French foray on goal.
In the 20th minute Jeff Reine Adelaide blasted a vicious strike directly at New Zealand keeper Michael Woud who saved. In the 26th minute Woud parried an equally fierce shot by Odsonne Edouard wide of goal.
Eventually the pressure told and the levee broke. Bilal Boutobba doubled France’s lead in the 32nd minute with a quick cutback inside New Zealand’s area and a powerful shot past New Zealand’s No1.
Two minutes later, Christ Emmanuel Maouassa beat four defenders and the keeper to make it 3-0.
Mamadou Doucoure scored from an uncontested header off a corner kick from the left side and just before the break France made it 5-0 when Alec Georgen finished off a great pass from captain Thimote Cognat.
France didn’t attack with the same zest and accuracy in the second-half, but New Zealand showed some fight.
Callum McCowatt came on as a holding midfielder and seemed to strengthen the defense.
Captain Jack-Henry Sinclair had his work cut out, but was tenacious and striker Logan Rogerson had his moments on attack.
He squandered a great a chance in the 65th minute when he fired meekly at the French keeper Luca Zidane after some fine work by Luca Imrie. Ten minutes later he dashed down the left-wing and crossed precisely to McGarry who made amends for his earlier own goal by putting New Zealand on the scoreboard.
In the final minute of stoppage time, Odsonne Edouard scored a sixth for France with a fine piece of individual skill. Edouard was the leading goal scorer at the European Championships and is tipped to have a big future in the game. He has scored 36 goals in 31 games for his country. Luca Zidane is the son of World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane.
France enjoyed 63% of possession and out shot New Zealand 17-4.
This will be the Young All Whites toughest match of the group stage. They showed some grit in the second spell, but it will be tough to advance to the next round after such a heavy defeat.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand