New Zealand thrashes Tonga 13-0

OFC release - New Zealand led 6-0 at half-time en route to the biggest win of the 2003 OFC U-17 Qualifying Tournament in beating Tonga 13-0 at Maroochydore Soccer Centre last night. It was a masterful performance by the kiwis and a perfect dress rehearsal for their all important showdown with Australia on Saturday.
New Zealand needs to beat Australia to have any chance of winning Group B and advancing to the playoff with the winner of Group A next week. While Tonga was outclassed, they battled hard but had no answer to New Zealand's coordinated attack, superior organisation and individual skills.
While it was not the tough hit out they would have preferred ahead of its crucial fixture against its long-time rivals, coach Ricki Herbert would have taken heart with the all round contributions from his players and especially the goal scoring form of Kris Bright, Ricky Broderson and Jason Hayne who all got hat-tricks.
New Zealand plays its last match next Monday against the Solomon Islands, another tough prospect. Tonga have an easier proposition in its next match against the struggling Tahitians on Saturday before the daunting task it faces in its last match against current Group B leaders, Australia.


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