PNG go down to NZ in stoppage time

A goal by New Zealand in stoppage time denied PNG a finals birth at the Oceania Football Confederation U-17 Championship and a place at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Over 1,000 spectators turned up to watch the semi-final at Stade Mahina in a nail-biter that finished with Oliver Whyte breaking PNG hearts by scoring in the 94th minute of play to win 2-1.

New Zealand were one up in the third minute when PNG’s Aben Pukue attempted to clear a cross but found the back of his own net.

But PNG equalised through Barthy Kerobin to end the first half with the score at 1-1.

Both sides were neck and neck in the second half and the match looked certain to end in a draw.

But Whyte booted the winning goal after charging into the penalty box to break the deadlock and send New Zealand to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

In the other semi-final, New Caledonia defeated Solomon Islands 3-2.

New Zealand will now meet New Caledonia in the final of the OFC U-17 Championship. Both countries have now qualified for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.


Troy Taule