Group B: Match 2 - NZ scores 9-0 win over Cooks

AUCKLAND: The Cook Islands defended resolutely for the first half hour of their opening Olympic Men's Qualifying clash against New Zealand, but three goals in the space of three minutes opened the floodgates for a comfortable 9-0 win for the Group B hosts.

Facing an alignment of four fullbacks and a sweeper with three midfielders playing just in front of them, the New Zealanders worked various angles and thrusts, mainly down the right and left flanks in the hope of breaking down the lively Cook Islanders who enthusiastically went about denying any easy goals.

New Zealand created many scoring chances from crosses which were either not quite on the mark, or which was not finished off with enough accuracy.

However, it was only a matter of time as the speed of passing and constant movement on attack increasingly exposed the Cook Islands defence.

The New Zealanders overall superiority in experience and technical ability eventually broke down the Cook Islands in the 31st minute with Brent Fisher putting on a clinical finish to open the scoring.

Goals to tall striker Neil Jones and James Pritchett in the space of three minutes soon after put New Zealand up 3-0. However, the Cooks were able to hold on till the break.

New Zealand encountered more resistance in the early part of the second half, but inevitably the goals flowed again with Fisher completing his hat-trick before being subbed off, while Pritchett was able to add his second goal.

Allan Pearce and Jarrod Smith came off the bench to score the remaining goals with Pearce racking up a double in two minutes showing his class.

New Zealand took some time to get the engine going, but they showed enough to prove they will be a force to reckon with.

The Cook Islands will get a bye for the second round on Friday while New Zealand plays American Samoa.

Match 2: New Zealand vs Cook Islands / Statistical Review
Full-time score: 9-0 (New Zealand)
Half-time score: 3-0 (New Zealand)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 14 January - 7:30pm (NZT)

Scorers:
New Zealand - (10) Brent Fisher 31', 55', 60', (17) Neil Jones 32', (15) James Pritchett 35', 74', (16) Allan Pearce 82', 84', (18) Jarrod Smith 95

Cautions: none
Expulsions: (13) Matthew Wilson 87' (Serious foul play)

Weather: fine, warm, light rain for brief periods
Crowd attendance: 260

Match Officials:
Referee: Andrew Moli (Solomon Islands)
Assistant Referee 1: Neil Poloso (Solomon Islands)
Assistant Referee 2: Collin Auvele (Samoa)
Fourth Official: Simon Micallef (Australia)

Match Commissioner: Madiu Andrew (PNG)
Referee Inspector: Ken Wallace (New Zealand)

Team Line-ups (& Substitutes)

NEW ZEALAND
1 Glen MOSS (GK)
2 Rupesh PUNA
3 Tony LOCHHEAD
4 Steven TURNER
5 Steven OLD (c)
6 Andrew BOYENS
8 David MULLIGAN (-71')
10 Brent FISHER (-80')
14 Timothy BROWN
15 James PRITCHETT
17 Neil JONES (-57')
Subs:
7 Leo BERTOS
9 Tariq IMAM
11 Shane SMELTZ
12 Matthew ADAMS
13 Matthew WILSON (+80')
16 Allan PEARCE (+57')
18 Jarrod SMITH (+71')
19 Jason HAYNE
20 Tamati WILLIAMS

Coach: Ricki Herbert

COOK ISLANDS
1 Romeo VAINE KEU
3 Roururoroa UNE
4 Ngatokotoru ORII MINGI
5 Paul - Luiz VAN EIJK
6 Anonga Nardu TISAM
7 Christian Moerai TAUIRA
8 Eugenie TATUAVA (-78')
10 James Thomas VARNEY (-72')
13 David Norman ANGENE
16 Teariki MATEARIKI (-91')
19 Tuka TISAM
Subs:
2 Tereroa MATAIO
9 Teatu-R. ROURU PUTERE (+72')
11 Michael Charles VARNEY
12 Samuel SHEPHERD
14 Henry John MUNRO
15 Tereapii ANGENE
17 Victor SAMUEL (+91')
18 Campbell John BEST (+78')
20 Taranivao Taikava TEKEU

Coach: Jimmy Katoa


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