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NZ thrashes Vanuatu to book spot in final

Host and favorites New Zealand have booked their spot in the final of the 2023  OFC Olympic Qualifier after thumping Vanuatu 8-0 in the first semifinal in Auckland today.

The Kiwis were a class of their own and showed their intent to play in the final from the opening minutes of the encounter.

The Darren Bazeley coached side went up in the third minute via a through ball from Aaryan Raj which pierced the defence and Jesse Randall ran on and slotted the ball to the right of Vanuatu goalkeeper Massing Kalotong for the opener.

Oskar Van Hattum headed the second 10th minute before Randall had his second two minutes later, running down the left-hand flank and confidently slotting past the keeper at the near post.

New Zealand made it four in the 17th minute when George Ott was brought down by Kalotong in the box.  Ott dusted himself down and fired home from the penalty spot.

Van Hattum headed home getting in front of the keeper six minutes from half-time to make it 5-0 before Ryan Verney fired home for a sixth just before the break.

Raj scored the seventh for the hosts in the 53rd minute with a deft header back across the face of the goal and into the far corner.

The stylish attacker who is of Fijian heritage wrapped up the victory with his second twelve minutes later after being unmarked at the far post following a corner.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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