Vanuatu Cyclones play New Zealand in Olympic Qualifier

The Vanuatu Cyclones soccer team have lost out in the race for gold at the XV Pacific Games, but they are still on the run for the ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Richard Iwai coached Boys in Black & Gold will take on the New Zealand Under 23s team in the second Olympic Games qualifier semi final match at 2.30pm (3.30pm Vanuatu time) on Friday 10 July.

The Cyclones had earlier set records in the Pacific Games when they scored 46 goals in one PG match, and striker Jean Kaltak making world record by scoring 16 goals in one match. 

Vanuatu beat the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in their last Group A match on Tuesday 7 July. Vanuatu drew 1 - 1 with Fiji in their opening match and lost 1 - 2 to Tahiti in their second game.

Fiji had won their second match 38 - 0 against FSM, while Tahiti had secured two wins over FSM (36 - 0) and Vanuatu (2 - 1).

The results had led to a situation where not only that Vanuatu had to beat FSM, but that they had to beat the 38 goal margin set by Fiji, and hoping that Tahiti would beat Fiji in their final group game.

Vanuatu did beat FSM and did bypassed the goal margin, but unfortunately Tahiti failed to beat Fiji, which in effect dropped Vanuatu out of the Pacific Games semi finals. But with Tahiti being a non Olympic member, Vanuatu and Fiji have gone into the semi finals of the Olympic qualifiers.

From Group B will be New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. So in the first semi final match, Fiji will play PNG, and Vanuatu will play New Zealand in the second semis.

The Minister of Sports and Youth Development Toara Daniel was also at the stadium to see Vanuatu play and defeated FSM. Mr. Daniel took the chance to meet and congratulate the players at the end of the match.

Member for Port Vila Jean-Yves Chabod was also present as well to congratulation the team on their big win over FSM.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu Team Manager Laurence Sisi says he's been receiving long distance calls from reporters and football associations from around the world enquiring about Vanuatu and especially the strike Jean Kaltak.

"They have talked with coach Richard Iwai and Jean as well… and most of them are encouraging Vanuatu to qualify for the Olympic Games", Sisi says.

The grand final for the Olympic qualifiers will be played at 2030pm Sunday at the Bisini Football grounds.


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