22 Sep 2018

Sport: NZ seeking to avenge against Solomons in U-16 football final showdown

11:37 am on 22 September 2018

Oceania Under-16 Football Champions New Zealand are looking to defend their title when the grand final kicks off on Saturday in Honiara.

They will also be looking to avenge the 5-0 pool play drubbing by hosts Solomon Islands.

Oskar Van Hattum in action in under 16 OFC

Oskar Van Hattum in action in under 16 OFC Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A full house is expected as the football mad nation seeks to end a decades-long silverware drought.

Both teams have already qualified for the FIFA Under-19 World Cup in Peru next year thanks to victories over Fiji and Tahiti in the semi-finals.

Those two teams will be playing for third place ahead of the final match which kicks of at 3:00pm local time.

New Zealand coach Jose Figueira said lessons have been learned from the pool play defeat and his team are feeling confident off the back of a convincing 4-1 semi-final win over Tahiti.

"The final training's been done, all the preparation has been done as well so we're looking forward to getting out there in what I'm sure is going to be a fantastic occasion," Figueira said.

Solomon Islands' coach Stanley Waita's charges are already local heroes after becoming the first ever team to make it to a FIFA World Cup, but Mr Waita said they are still hungry.

"After the match I was feeling a bit tired, but today I'm feeling excited because I think it's going to be another great day for Solomon Islands," Stanley Waita said.

"We want the big prize."