15 Jan 2015

Sport: Vanuatu and Solomons score big in U17 football openers

8:27 am on 15 January 2015

Vanuatu and Solomon Islands began their Oceania Under 17 football campaigns in ruthless fashion, with lopsided victories in Pago Pago.

Vanuatu showed no sympathy for hosts American Samoa, with striker Sylvain Wororbu bagging four and Abednigo Sau a second-half hat-trick in a 13-0 drubbing to open proceedings in Group B.

Meanwhile Tonga took a surprise lead against Solomon Islands, in their first match at this level, when Soakai Vea struck in the 14th minute.

But their joy was short-lived as the Solomon Islands grabbed three goals before halftime and another seven in the second spell to run away with the match 10-1.

Despite the impressive scoreline, Solomons coach Jacob Moli believes his side still have plenty of room for improvement.

"I'm very happy about the performance but not the way that we started the game. The boys were a bit shaky in the first five minutes of the game and allowed Tonga to score early. We can't afford to do that against better opponents when we play against them".

The tournament moves back to Apia today for the second round of matches in Group A.

Papua New Guinea put their winning start on the line against Fiji, defending champions New Zealand take on hosts Samoa, while New Caledonia face the Cook Islands in the evening clash.