New Zealand earn 7th straight title

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New Zealand earn 7th straight title

By:   – Sports writer for Kiwi Football 

New Zealand have sealed their seventh straight OFC U-16 Championship title after beating Solomon Islands in a penalty shootout following a thrilling 0-0 draw at Lawson Tama Stadium this afternoon.

It was an exceptional final with everything the thousands of fans who packed themselves into Lawson Tama could have asked for.
A couple of early cautions for both sides quickly put paid to any ideas the sides had of using their physical presence to dominate in challenges and helped the players calm down a little and focus on good football.

Neither side could create much of note in the first part of the second half as an absorbing contest continued to unfold

Solomon Islands didn’t go home empty handed with the side doing well in the individual awards, as well as picking up the team award for Fairplay.

Raphael Le’ai’s eight goals earned him the Golden Boot, while he also went home with the Golden Ball for the most outstanding player of the tournament.

New Zealand goalkeeper Alex Paulsen collected the Golden Gloves award, largely based on his impressive performance in the final.

Solomon Islands 0 – 0 New Zealand
HT: 0-0
New Zealand win 5-4 on penalties