The event was organised by the Cook Islands Football Association and it was the first youth contest of its kind in the history of Cook Islands football. Conditions were perfect on Saturday as the finals got underway at the CIFA Complex.
The afternoon saw an exciting final third place playoff between Aitutaki and Beachlands Fury in the girls division.
The teams were locked at 1-1 at the end of the first half, before Beachlands Fury scored five goals in the penalty shootout to win the game 5-4.
The win saw the team from New Zealand take third spot.
The Puaikura U16 boys team had an easy win against Mangaia, running their game plan to perfection to win 5-0 in the third place playoff.
In the U16 girl’s division final, the Ellerslie Mustangs made the most of the perfect weather conditions, putting on a dominant performance to beat Puaikura 3-0.
The final match of the afternoon saw favourites Takitumu Pirates with main players from Titikaveka, Matavera and Ngatangiia, go up against Tupapa Maraerenga in the U16 boys final.
Tupapa Maraerenga caused a major upset, beating the Pirates 1-0.
A CIFA spokesperson congratulated Ellerslie Mustangs and Tupapa Maraerenga for winning the festival, adding it was a fantastic achievement which they thoroughly deserved.
CIFA thanks the sponsors, Air Rarotonga, Cook Islands Tourism and Perfumes of Rarotonga, for making the event possible.
The Kia Orana Festival will hopefully be run annually.
- CIFA Media
Finals for 3rd and 4th Placing – Under 16 Girls Aitutaki 4 Beachlands Fury 5, Under 16 Boys Puaikura 5 Mangaia 0, Finals for 1st and 2nd Placing – Under 16 Girls Ellerslie Mustangs 3 Puaikura 0, Under 16 Boys Takitumu Pirates 0 Tupapa Maraerenga 1