U20s belt Tonga

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday 19th of February, 2014

PAPUA New Guinea thrashed Tonga 4-0 to get their Under-20 women’s World Cup qualifying tournament off to a positive start.
In game two of the championship’s opening day New Zealand tore apart a young Vanuatu side full of international debutants on their way to securing a 12-0 victory at Mangere Centre Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
PNG’s tussle with Tonga was an even battle in the opening half of the match with a scoreless stalemate at half time.
There were no shortage of opportunities from both sides but the finishing touches were off target.
But when the first goal got through the Tongan defence in the second stanza the floodgates opened for the Rumona Morris-led side.
PNG coach Rachel Wadunah said she was happy with the win, and with her side’s performance.
“Coming into the match we agreed that Tonga’s size meant in order to beat them we’d need to use our first touches and our speed to our advantage, so that’s how my girls did well,” Wadunah said.
Tonga had the opportunity to draw first blood in the 10th minute as Malia Tongia broke through but Dinna Awele stopped Tongia’s run short.

In the 24th minute Rumona Morris was brought down just to the left of Tonga’s box and PNG were handed a free kick.
Georgina Kaikas curled her free kick which unfortunately had too much curve as 
Tonga’s goalkeeper Tangimausia Ma’afu touched it out.
PNG squandered a equally perfect opportunity when Morris broke away to the left in the 45th minute, found Gunemba who in turn passed to Niaman, whose shot was wide off the upright.
However, things started to turn rosy for PNG in the first minute of the second half when a great through ball from Kaikas found Awele who shook the back of the net.
Tonga re-grouped and countered in attack but Carolyn Obi was sturdy in defence and cleared the ball.
PNG launched another profitable attack as Talitha Irakau scored in the 66th minute to put them ahead 2-0.
PNG made changes to bring in Madang’s Yvonne Gabong for Joy Tsuga which helped stall the Tongan attack which upped the tempo in a bid to close the gap in scores.
But Gabong cushioned the lead with a solid effort that rattled the net in the 71st minute to put PNG out of reach 3-0.
Four minutes later Nicolla Niaman with a brilliant strike gave PNG a further advantage to seal their opening victory.  
Tonga continued to launch desperate attacks with an impressive run from Liutai ended without the desired result due to a solid Bridget Kadu in the centre of the PNG defence.
PNG have a rest today and play Vanuatu tomorrow.
Wadunah’s side will then take on New Zealand on Friday in what will probably be the tournament decider.