THE Papua New Guinea Football Association Under 15s yesterday started their campaign on a high note with 4-0 victory over Tonga in the OFC Under 17 girls championship at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand.
Striker Georgina Kaikas collected a double while Grace Steven and Bianka Robert scored a single each for a morale boosting win.
PNG picked up three goals in the opening half through Kaikas double while Steven added another for a 3-0 lead at half time.
In the second half, Roberts scored in the 64th minute to ensure PNG registered their first-ever victory in the U17 girls tournament.
Kaikas played a starring role in the win. She started firing at the goalmouth in the 25th minute and two minutes later, scored the opening goal.
She had another two chances in the 40th and 43th minutes but Tonga goalkeeper Lesieli Losalu made two great saves.
The trial matches in Gold Coast earlier in month have evidently given the PNG juniors an edge.
Team manageress Julie Alau said PNG would be up against Solomon Islands, Oceania giants New Zealand and Tonga in their pool and have already accounted for the Polynesians with the hosts New Zealand now expected to provided the strongest opposition.
PNGFA OFC consultant David Brand said the team was in Gold Coast having arrived their on April 1.
“All players apart from two are under 15 years of age having been selected with the YOG 2010 in mind and the U17 in two years.
“We do not have any star players in the squad which is very new and obviously young and only finally came together this week.
“Such are the logistics of Talent ID, selection and preparation in PNG which is at times very difficult,” Brand said.
The management are looking to this tournament to develop this young squad and the future looks bright for the senior women’s football in years to come especially for the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.