Vanuatu Futsal team is out of the OFC Futsal Nations Cup semi-final following their two straight losses against New Caledonia and New Zealand.
Vanuatu Futsal team finally came out with a win in their final group match of the OFC Futsal Nation’s Cup after defeating American Samoa 10-3 at L’Arena du Sud in Paita yesterday.
The win was a formality for the Richard Lehi coached side who faced two straight loses in day one and day two of the competition. Vanuatu lost to New Caledonia 11-1 on day one and further lost their second match to the star studded New Zealand side 8-1 on Tuesday night which has pushed them out of semi-final spot.
Meanwhile Vanuatu head coach Richard Lehi in charge of Vanuatu remained confident his inexperienced side will learn from the defeat.
“We have a very young team compared to an experienced New Zealand team and we have very young players who need more time to reach a certain level we want,” he said.
During their game against New Zealand, the Kiwis showed their intent from the outset with Dylan Manickum setting up captain Micky Malivuk for the opener quickly followed by a lovely finish from Jordi Ditfort with less than three minutes on the clock.
Sandy Mesau forced a couple of good saves from Ellias Billeh at the other end but the New Zealanders continued to control the tempo of the game with Malivuk adding to his tally before Oban Hawkins netted midway through the first period.
Despite Vanuatu not conceding again in the opening half, the Futsal Whites showed intensity, concentration, speed and accuracy to have every reason to go into the break satisfied with their work.
Vanuatu keeper Anthony Quai produced a string of saves to keep his side in the game at the start of the second half, and his outfield players responded by creating a number of scoring opportunities on the counter to test the New Zealanders.
The Melanesians’ resistance was finally broken by a beautiful goal set up by Stephen Ashby-Peckham and finished off by Brayden Lissington.
Captain and Vanuatu futsal legend Ben Hungai got his side on the scoreboard but his celebration was cut short with the Kiwis scoring three goals in quick succession through Ditfort, Logan Wisnewski and Manickum to cap their win.
Hosts New Caledonia and New Zealand have both secured their passage to the knock-out phase from the group and their feature match last night was decider for group leader.