September 27, 2023

NZ win U-17 Championship

New Zealand have beaten New Caledonia in the OFC U-17 Championship final.

New Zealand’s Anaru Cassidy and New Caledonia’s Joseph Hnaissilin. (Photo: Pita Simpson/Phototek via OFC Media)

NZ came out on top in a close fought final in Fiji, beating New Caledonia 1-0.

Niko Bruce was the deciding factor, pouncing on a mistake from New Caledonia goalkeeper Claude Tiaouniane, who fumbled a cross.

Tiaouniane’s fumble fell to Bruce, who took two attempts before smashing the ball into the back of the open net in the 24th minute.

Despite both sides having their fair share of chances, including a last minute save from Matthew Foord in the NZ goal, the game didn’t have any more goals in it.

With that result, NZ defended their title from the last championship, while New Caledonia secured a World Cup spot in Peru lather this year, thanks to their final appearance, alongside the winners.

In the bronze final, Tahiti won 3-0 over hosts Fiji to secure third place.

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