The quarterfinals of the OFC U-17 Championship were decided this Wednesday – 18th January – after a draw by the Oceania Football Confederation.
In the first leg of the quarterfinals New Caledonia will face Samoa in Suva on January 21st at 4pm local time; New Caledonia is the favourite to take the semifinal spot, but Samoa is certainly the biggest threat the Cagous could have, players like Newcastle Jets’ wonder boy Pharrell Trainor could surprise coach Leonardo Lopez’s team.
Tahiti and Tonga will also face each other in Suva on January 21st at 7pm local time; Tahiti is the overwhelming favorite to win, and of the teams apart New Zealand, they are the ones who have played the best football so far, and should have Keanan Faure back in the starting line-up after he was rested against Cook Islands. Tonga lost their two games so far – to see the Tongans proceed would be a major upset.
On January 22nd, Fiji takes on the Cook Islands at 4pm local time; Fiji is certainly the favorite to beat Cook Islands because it possesses more talent than its opponent, but it must be careful because the Cook Islands team led by coach Tahiri Elikana had shown in the match against Vanuatu that they can offer also be a threat to its opponents.
Next, at 7pm, New Zealand, who is the favorite to win the tournament and one of the spots for the U-17 World Cup, will face Vanuatu; New Zealand is the favourite to get past Vanuatu that has so far not impressed, a team that had a hard time against Cook Islands and was dominated by Tahiti.
All matches will be broadcast by streaming app Eleven Sports.