20 Mar 2012

Sport: Weather forces changes to Oceania football qualifiers

12:01 pm on 20 March 2012

Extreme weather conditions in Taupo have led to changes for Tuesday's Oceania Football Olympic Qualifying matches.

The Pool A match between American Samoa and Solomon Islands has been delayed until Wednesday as both teams are no longer in the running to make the playoffs.

The Tonga v New Zealand match has been brought forward half an hour with the Vanuatu v Fiji match to follow.

Tonga need to win by at least two goals to advance to a semi final meeting with Vanuatu or Fiji, while a draw would be good enough for the Oly-Whites.

Head coach Timote Moleni says they learnt a lot from their opening match against Papua New Guinea and will go and give New Zealand everything they've got.

"We try our best and I know it's hard losing to Papua New Guinea but my defence is very organised and I learnt a lot from Papua New Guinea, especially attacking."

The New Zealand Under 23 midfielder, Adam McGeorge, is expecting a rough ride against a side running high on emotion after the death of their king.

Every game we play we say you're only as good as your next game kind of thing so, especially with the King of Tonga, they've got a lot to play for so hopefully it'll be a good test for the boys and a good warm up game for the semis but there's no such thing as an easy game when you get to these tournaments.