17 Jan 2015

Sport: Cook Islands U17s wary of improving hosts

11:09 am on 17 January 2015

Vanuatu remain on course for a semi-final berth at the Oceania Under 17 football Championship after a 9-0 demolition of Tonga in their second round match in Pago Pago.

Sylvain Worworbu opened the scoring in the first minute and completed his hat-trick midway through the second half to make it seven goals in two games.

Midfielder Abednigo Sau bagged three second half goals in just 16 minutes to take his overall tally to six.

Meanwhile Michel Maihi found the back of the net five times as Tahiti began their campaign in rampant fashion, thrashing hosts American Samoa 11-0.

Vanuatu tops the Group B standings with a maximum six points from two games, three clear of Tahiti and Solomon Islands who have both had a bye.

Meanwhile the Cook Islands and Samoa go head to head in Group A this evening with both countries still looking to grab their first points of the tournament.

The Polynesian rivals have suffered back to back defeats and their hopes of making the semi finals are all but over.

Cook Islands coach Delaney Yaqona still believes his team has their tactics right and wants to see them relax and play their natural game.

Despite Samoa facing similar struggles, he says they're expecting a difficult game.

"Samoa's actually a very good side. I think a lot of people don't give them enough credit. I think their media needs to be a bit easy on them: I mean I've watched them [and] I'm really impressed with how much they've improved. It will be a big fight for us. I guess, for us in the tier two countries, this is the game everybody's been waiting for. It's going to be a big occasion on Saturday and hopefully the boys can step up and make a real go of it."

In the other games today, New Caledonia and New Zealand put their perfect records on the line against Fiji and Papua New Guinea.