September 18, 2022
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Ali hat-trick sees NZ's first OFC title

Showstopper Rahan Ali scored a hat-trick of goals as New Zealand thumped favourites, the Solomon Islands 6-2 to walk away with their first-ever OFC Futsal Cup at the Vodafone Arena in Suva today. 
 
Dubbed the clash of futsal giants, the encounter between two of the most experienced and star-studded teams in the region gave fans the full value for every dollar they spent to witness the 40 minutes of action.
 
Top pivot Jordan Ditfort shed the blood for New Zealand in the second minute of the match chipping the ball into the net before the defending champs equalised through experienced Marlon Sia a minute later.
 
A few minutes later, Ali gave New Zealand the lead following a through pass from Ditfort before Ethan Martin extended their lead to 3-1 at halftime.
 
The men-in-black continued with their fine form in the second stanza with Ali bagging his second goal after a setup from Sean MCntee in the 22nd minute but Solomon managed to pull one back through  Benjamin Mana.
 
After a foul by Solomon’s Eddie Kasutee, New Zealand was awarded a penalty which Ali took without hesitating for a 5-2 lead.
 
A consolation goal from Stephen Peckham sealed the win for the Kiwis.
 
By Romeka Romena  


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