New Zealand and Vanuatu battle to 1-1 draw

OFC Release - The showdown between New Zealand and Vanuatu was always seen as a match that could decide the Group B standings at the 2003 OFC U-17 Qualifying Tournament. And both teams didn't disappoint giving no quarter in a fiercely competitive battle which ended in a 1-1 draw.
New Zealand scored the only goal of the first half through Steven Old in the 24th minute. However, Vanuatu made the vital breakthrough just minutes after half-time with prolific striker Jean Emmanuel Maleb slotting in the equaliser and his fourth goal of the tournament thus far.
Vanuatu continued to frustrate the kiwis through their physical approach. Tahitian referee Charles Ariiotima did not hesitate in dishing out three more yellow cards to the Vanuatu team to add to Roger Joe's caution just before the break.
The New Zealanders continued to dominate much of the play but were unable to break the deadlock against a determined Vanuatu defence.


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