Samoa Impress with an 11-0 win over Papua New Guinea

The game’s turning point came after Samoa skipper Taeoalli copped an accidental boot to the face, and the floodgates opened following the restart

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The Samoa Women’s Under 16 side has impressed with a 11-0 win over Papua New Guinea at the OFC Championship Qualifying tournament in Auckland.

It was always going to be a challenge for Papua New Guinea.

After narrowly losing to American Samoa on Friday, PNG needed to secure a convincing win to have any hope of qualifying for Fiji.

Instead PNG came up against a Samoa side determined to capitalise on the momentum generated by their senior side, semi-finalists in the Olympic Qualifiers earlier this year.

Samoa were able to draw on senior international experience through captain Grace Taeoalli. The gulf in experience soon showed as Samoa romped to an 11-0 victory at Auckland’s Ngahue Reserve.

Samoa got off to a flying start in front of a partisan crowd, scoring in the third minute via their number 10 Lynn Aiono Sagiao, who arrived late in the box to drive home Cali Willis’s low cross from the right flank. It was one-way traffic thereafter, as Samoa settled into Papua New Guinea’s half, peppering Helina George’s goal.

Ten minutes later the ball was again in the back of the net, as Willis accelerated away from the PNG defence, her saved shot tapped in by Holly Leapai, who allowed herself to stray offside in the build-up.

The game’s turning point came after Samoa skipper Taeoalli copped an accidental boot to the face, and the floodgates opened following the restart. As with the first goal, Willis was released down the right hand side and with plenty of time and space put in a low cross, with 13-year-old T Devoux more than happy to convert.

The third goal coming three minutes later, this time from the left, but again from the boot of Aiono Sagiao. The forward stormed into the Papua New Guinea penalty area and finished from a narrow angle.

Minutes later Taeoalli scored after George had done well to deny an initial shot. However, the goalkeeper was left stranded out of position and Taeoalli was able to roll the ball into an empty net.

Willis turned provider to scorer shortly after, holding her composure to tap past George and make it five.

Leapai found the back of the net for Samoa’s sixth, converting in the 34th minute. She doubled her tally five minutes later, after Aiono Sagiao won her header on the edge of the box, and the number nine was on hand to finish from close range.

Aiono Sagiao secured her hat trick after an Ayres Ava long ball found her on the edge of the penalty area. With no defenders able to get close enough to her, the forward had time to settle herself for her well-placed shot.

Showing absolutely no mercy, Cali Willis added her second, driving down the left and finishing ferociously. Willis then reprised her role as provider to send the game into double figures, setting up Leapai to secure her hat trick.

The second half saw Samoa’s attack blunted, securing just the one goal through Leapai, as Papua New Guinea put in a much more resolute performance to limit their opponents and close the game out.

Samoa’s victory sets up a winner takes all final match of the tournament on Thursday, as they take on neighbours American Samoa to determine the final team for the OFC Women’s U-16 Championship this September in Fiji.

American Samoa with an inferior goal difference will have to attack with Samoa needing just a draw to qualify.

Samoa: 11 (Lynn AIONO SAGIAO 3’, 24’, 43’; T Devoux 21’; Grace TAEOALLI 27’; Cali WILLIS 28’, 44’; Holly LEAPAI 34’, 39’, 45’, 51’)

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