The New Zealand U-17 Women’s side opened their Oceania Football Championship campaign on Thursday with an 11-0 victory over Samoa.
Playing at the CIFA Academy in Rarotonga, Gareth Turnbull’s New Zealand side led 5-0 at halftime as Hannah Blake opened the scoring inside the first 60 seconds of the contest.
Canada-based midfielder Gabrielle Jillings made it 2-0 six minutes later and it was 3-0 in the 13th minute as Jacqui Hand scored the first of her three goals, the second coming just after the 20 minute mark.
Samantha Tawharu stabbed home in the 36th minute to complete the first half scoring.
Hand completed her hat-trick 20 minutes into the second half for 6-0 before a Samoan own goal and Blake’s second of the day made it 8-0 with nine minutes remaining.
Substitute Sarah Krystman scored twice in the final 10 minutes, including a drive from distance, for 10-0 before Blake finished her hat-trick deep into stoppage time with a low shot beyond Samoan goalkeeper Adriann Boxier Esene.
Turnbull said the group are happy with their start to the tournament which includes eight nations from around Oceania.
“We were very pleased to not only get the tournament started but to start in such a positive way,” Turnbull said.
“The girls have prepared really well over the past five days and we started really brightly. It’s always nice to score a really early goal as we did. The starting 11 were all debutants so that definitely calmed the nerves.
“We got the ball down and started playing and we started to find some spaces and got into a rhythm fairly early.
“A big message was being patient and to move the ball quicker than the opposition can move. When we did that we looked really good.”
New Zealand’s next match of the tournament is against New Caledonia – who claimed a 5-0 win over Tonga - on Saturday at 1pm (NZ time).
The winner of the tournament qualifies for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan later this year.
Oceania Football Women’s U-17 Championships 2016
Thursday 14 January
New Zealand 11-0 Samoa (half: 5-0)
NZL: Hannah Blake 1’, 81’, 90+7’ Gabrielle Jillings 7’, Jacqui Hand 13’, 21’, 65’, Samantha Tawharu 36’, OG 73’, Sarah Krystman 85’, 90+4’
New Zealand: 12. Nadia Olla (GK), 2. Claudia Bunge, 5. Michaela Foster (capt - 15. Francesca Grange 74’), 7. Hannah Blake, 8. Malia Steinmetz, 9. Samantha Tawharu (19. Maggie Jenkins 60’), 11. Jacqui Hand, 13. Kate Williams, 14. Rebecca Lake, 16. Alosi Bloomfield, 18. Gabrielle Jillings (10. Sarah Krystman 60’)
Substitutes not used: 1. Anna Leat (GK), 3. Amber Phillips, 4. Ally Toailoa, 6. Nicole Mettam, 17. Emma Main
Coach: Gareth Turnbull
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