The National, Wednesday 27th March, 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
THE Papua New Guinea Under-20 soccer team will be out for a consolation win against New Caledonia on Day Four of the World Cup qualifiers at Churchill Park, Lautoka, Fiji, today.
New Caledonia came close to upsetting defending champions New Zealand, who had to come from behind for a 3-2 win while Vanuatu ran six goals past PNG to take a 6-1 victory on day three.
PNG showed flashes of skill against Vanuatu, opening the scoring in the first minute through fleet-footed striker Patrick Aisa.
But Vanuatu responded with the morale crushing win.
Wesley Waiwai’s squad urgently needs some respect from the soccer fraternity in the region and at home.
The side possesses speed and agility and has a strong attack in Aisa, Daniel Taylor and captain Alwin Komolong but have failed to fire.
Waiwai said his players could not afford to be flat and needed to play good football.
“It would be good to spread the ball more and get more combination play going in our passing,” Waiwai said.
“New Caledonia have a good passing game and are good in defence as well so it will come down to whoever plays the better football.”
Waiwai said it was never pleasant to concede such a high number of goals and his side would have to try and find some positives from the heavy defeat.
“Any coach with that score-line wouldn’t be happy. The boys did their best but there are obviously a lot of things that we need to start fixing,” Waiwai said.
“We need to earn some consolation points because it’s important that we take something from the tournament.
“But it’s good for us to play at this level because it’s a good experience for the players and gives them plenty of things to learn from.”
New Caledonia coach Matthieu Delcroix said his players needed to recuperate ahead of their match against PNG. “Then the boys will give our maximum to get their first victory in the tournament.”
Both the sides will be looking for their first win of the tournament today.