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Cooks face Fiji in quarters

Friday 20 January 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Soccer, Sports

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Cooks face Fiji in quarters
Cook Islands Under-17 team. CIFA MEDIA/ 23011916

For the last fortnight we’ve seen great football as the OFC U-17 Championship now reaches the knockout phase, which will see four big quarter-finals happening this weekend at HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

All the action will be streamed live and free on the OFC website (www.oceaniafootball.com).

The winning team and runners up will advance to be OFC’s representatives at the FIFA U-17 World Cup™️ held in Peru in October.

Already we’ve seen a couple of instant classics, with the opening Group B match between New Zealand and New Caledonia ending in a 3-2 win for the tournament favourites. Fiji and Tonga had to battle not just each other but the elements as well, with their game played in torrential rain. It was a testament to the skill levels of the players that the game was a great advertisement for age-grade football, with the Fijians triumphing 3-0.

As it stands, American Samoa have been eliminated after two losses, with our quarter-finals draw giving us these fixtures for the weekend:

New Caledonia v Samoa

Saturday, January 21 at HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, Fiji | 4.00pm kick-off local time

Both teams come in off impressive wins, with New Caledonia putting seven goals past American Samoa and Samoa winning 6-0 over Tonga. Jean-Yves Saiko has been very prominent for the New Caledonians, while Samoan captain Pharrell Trainor scored four goals in their last win.

Tahiti v Tonga

Saturday, January 21 at HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, Fiji | 7.00pm kick-off local time

Tahiti come in as favourites, with two wins as opposed to Tonga’s two losses. Tiahoti Colombani has been Tahiti’s main goal scorer, while Titouan Guillemant has been a force on attack.

Fiji v Cook Islands

Sunday, January 22 at HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, Fiji | 4.00pm kick-off local time (6pm Saturday – Cook Islands time)

The home side will be hoping for less rain than their last game, but have been playing very well. Ibraheem Afazel has been in eye catching form, expect to hear his name in the future. They need to be wary of a Cooks team that has shown that they aren’t afraid to have a crack at goal from a long way out, though.

New Zealand v Vanuatu

Sunday, January 22 at HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, Fiji | 7.00pm kick-off local time

New Zealand have scored 14 goals in their two games but will need to be on their game against a canny Vanuatu side. New Zealand striker Luke Supyk already has a hat-trick in the tournament so far, while Jimmy Moso has been impressive for Vanuatu.

  • OFC Media

Cook Islands U17 Team List: Paulo Allsworth (Nikao Sokattak FC), Ioane Brogan (Matavera-Ngatangiia FC), Terepai Karan (Aitutaki), Timi Kiriau (Avatiu FC), Dwayne Matapo (Nikao Sokattak FC), Jordan Matapo (Nikao Sokattak FC), Tione Nand (Avatiu FC), Teina Ngametua (Tupapa Maraerenga FC), Christpher Pita (Avatiu FC), Te Ariki RIngi (Matavera-Ngatangiia FC), Tepare Rongo-Kea (Nikao Sokattak FC), Juleo Tauu (Tupapa Maraerenga FC), Akai Tuakeu (Aitutaki), Stanley Tutai (Avatiu FC), Shane Tuteru (Tupapa Maraerenga FC), Jeremiah Williams (Auckland United FC), Robert Savage (Avatiu FC), Hyrum Numanga (Matavera-Ngatangiia FC), Iaveta Remuera (Nikao Sokattak FC) and Tamuera Newnham (Matavera-Ngatangiia FC). Team Officials are: Tahiri Elikana (Coach), Nathan Tisam (A.Coach), Pauline Dean (Manager), Lai Gukisuva (A.Manager) and Ana Baukitoga (Physio).