Group B: Match 3 - NZ thrashes American Samoa 11-0

AUCKLAND: New Zealand recorded their second big win of the Oceania Olympic Qualifiers thrashing American Samoa 11-0 at North Harbour Stadium last night.

The only real highlight of the match was Shane Smeltz's five goal bag, four of those goals coming in the second half. Allan Pearce also chipped in with a hat-trick of his own.

Otherwise, the match proved to be a dour one-sided affair with American Samoa unwilling to take on the hosts or mount any sort of attack in their half opting to camp inside their own half in a defensive formation with a lone striker up front near halfway.

New Zealand made a number of changes from its starting lineup against the Cooks with Tony Lochhead assuming the captaincy duties after Steven Old was ruled out with a hip injury. Goalkeeper Tamati Williams also got his first start but he rarely saw the ball.

American Samoa played with a sweeper behind five fullbacks with three midfielders a few metres in front. Fa'amanu Siuta was the lone striker up front and though he did a lot of chasing, rarely touched the ball at all.

The packed formation of the blue, red and whites proved a challenge for the New Zealand team who at times found the going tough trying to break down the American Samoa defence. Once again utilising their speed down the right and left flanks to try and break through their opponents, the New Zealanders tried a variety of crosses and angles but increasingly became frustrated as the congested penalty area resembled a minefield.

After a steady start, New Zealand went into the break 6-0 up with goals aplenty promised in the second half as coach Ricki Herbert brought on Brent Fisher to help boost the score. But aside from Smeltz's four goal flourish after the break, the New Zealanders were unable to capitalise on many other scoring chances.

The last twenty minutes of the match only yielded one goal, to New Zealand's Rupesh Puna in 87th minute after he followed up an Allan Pearce shot which deflected off the goalkeeper.

Once again, American Samoa goalkeeper and captain Nicky Salapu could be proud of his efforts with another busy performance in goal, thwarting a number of shots on goal and even taking the free kicks on occasions.

Match 3: New Zealand vs American Samoa / Statistical Review
Full-time score: 11-0 (New Zealand)
Half-time score: 6-0 (New Zealand)

Date/Time: Friday, 16 January - 5:00pm (NZT)

Scorers: NZ - (16) Allan Pearce 8', 22', 39'; (11) Shane Smeltz 12', 51'. 57', 66', 68'; (8) David Mulligan 26'; (18) Jarrod Smith 30'; (2) Rupesh Puna 87

Cautions: Am Sam - (16) Fa'amanu Siuta 46
Expulsions: none

Weather: overcast, mild
Crowd attendance: 250

Match Officials:
Referee: Intaz Shah (Fiji)
Assistant Referee 1: Hillary Ani (PNG)
Assistant Referee 2: Neil Poloso (Solomon Islands)
Fourth Official: Leone Rakaroi (Fiji)

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

Team Line-ups (& Substitutes)
New Zealand
20 Tamati WILLIAMS (GK)
2 Rupesh PUNA
3 Tony LOCHHEAD (c)
6 Andrew BOYENS
8 David MULLIGAN (-66')
11 Shane SMELTZ
12 Matthew ADAMS
14 Timothy BROWN (-45')
16 Allan PEARCE
18 Jarrod SMITH (-45')
1 Glen MOSS (RGK)
4 Steven TURNER
9 Tariq IMAM (+45')
10 Brent FISHER (+45')
17 Neil JONES
19 Jason HAYNE (+66')

Coach: Ricki Herbert

American Samoa
1. Nicky Vitolio SALAPU (GK) (C)
2. Levaula FATU
4. Terrence Leo SINAPATI (-80')
6. Ovite Ace LEPOU
9. Duane Faaou ATUELEVAO
12. Andrew Soosemea TINAE
13. Maika Kenneth MOLESI
16. Fa'amanu SIUTA (-72')
17. Ramin Shahin OTT
5. Reno Montana AMISONE (+80')
8. Viliamu VAOFANUA
10. Ben Falaniko SAGAIGA
11. Elvis Simon SEUMANU
14. Alexander VICTOR
15. Ito TELESA (+72')

Coach: Pacifico Abadia


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