14 Apr 2012

Sport: NZ's under-17 womens football beat PNG 9-nil

9:40 am on 14 April 2012

The New Zealand under 20 women's football team should secure its place at this year's FIFA under 20 world cup when it completes the OFC championship with a game against Samoa today in Auckland.

New Zealand has confirmed its qualification for this year's under-17 women's football world cup in Azerbaijan with a nine nil win over Papua New Guinea at the Oceania qualifying tournament in Auckland yestereday.

New Zealand has racked up 16 goals in its first two games an is heavily favoured to qualify for their fourth world cup.

With their superior goal difference gained in the competition New Zealand need just a draw today but manager Rob Pickstock says complacency is not an issue

"It's not only about this tournament but preparing for what lies ahead if we win the tournament. And the girls and the personnel have been really good and getting into a camp like this with a competitive flavour is what we like best and been most beneficial to everybody. So we're pleased where we are right now."

Mr Pickstock also says the Pacific representatives have shown real improvement.

He says island nations have looked much better organised on the pitch.

The structure of the game the Pacific island are playing now is so much more advanced than it was a few years ago. So they are really getting structure in their game and there's no doubt, you can't question the passion and commitment of the players either. Its really good to go out there and they really relish the opportunity to come to tournaments like this because they don't get the opportunity to play against us or each other that often. So their standard is certainly on the rise.

The other game today will feature New Caledonia up against Papua New Guinea.