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Oceania, Under 20s

Oceania Youngsters Bid For World Cup Place

The OFC Under 20 Championship has kicked off in Auckland, New Zealand with the winner’s prize as a place in Colombia at the Under 20 World Cup.

The crowds were treated to a goal fest as Vanuatu thrashed American Samoa 7-0 in their opening game.

Jean Kaltak, Eddison Stephen, Pascal Chabot(2), Brian Kaltak, Didier Kalip and Moses Moli-Kalontang grabbed the goals for Vanuatu who currently top their group.

Fiji drew their opening match in Group A with Papa New Guinea. Ravinest Singh was sent off in the second minute and after being defeated in their second game by Vanuatu, Fiji must now beat American Samoa to stand any chance of qualification.

American Samoa were thrashed again in their second match, this time at the hands of Papa New Guinea.

A hat-trick from Lap Embel and a Vanya Malagian goal put Guinea ahead before Taalenuu Faavi scored a consolation for Samoa.

Nigel Dabingyaba grabbed another for Papa New Guinea to finish the game 5-1 and put Papa New Guinea only one game away from the semi-finals.

In Group B, New Caledonia took the lead against Solomon Islands in only the 6th minute through Pascal Kenon.

Dennis Ifunaoa scored a penalty to put Solomon Islands level midway through the first half.

New Caledonia had a man sent off either side of half-time to reduce them to nine men. Jean Claude Jewine and Robert Dokunengo were the men to see red.

Solomon Islands took advantage of this and sailed to victory with another penalty from Ifunaoa and a Himson Teleda strike.

The Solomon Islands would next face New Zealand, the hosts and the favourites.

New Zealand won 3-0 with goals from Dakota Lucas, Marco Rojas and Andrew Bevin.

New Zealand now know that a win or a draw against New Caledonia will secure their place in the semi-final and bring them one step closer to qualifying for Colombia.

You can follow the tournament here on The Youth Radar throughout the week.

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About Tom Bennett

I'm a 21-year-old Multimedia Journalism student at Bournemouth University aspiring to be one of Britain's top sports journalists. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for contact and further information.

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