Squad off to world finals
Onehunga Sports is off to Old Trafford later this year after securing a spot in the grand final of the Nike Premier Cup.
The Green Machine’s under-15 boys squad won the Pacific finals in Sydney at the weekend to ensure they will compete at the home of Manchester United for the second time in three years.
The annual Nike Cup involves teams of under15 footballers from around the world trying to qualify for the final tournament in England.
It wasn’t an easy road to the Pacific finals after the Waikaraka Park club found themselves $5000 short of being able to contest the national final on March 24.
But after overcoming their financial plight they went on to beat Perth 2-0, West Adelaide 4-0 and Hamilton Olympic 3-1 in their group games on Saturday, before topping Moreton Bay United 3-0 in Sunday’s semifinal.
Up to this stage of the tournament, Liam Jordan and 13-year-old Max Mata had scored a goal apiece in each game. Billy Jones scored twice against Wests and also in the semifinal while Sarpreet Singh scored against Olympic.
The final against leading Sydney club Blacktown City saw Hiroshi Miyazawa’s young charges trailing to an early goal before an equaliser brought about a 1-1 draw and extra time. There was no separating the teams during the additional period so it came down to a penalty shoot-out.
Sports prevailed 5-3 on spot-kicks to become one of the 20 teams to qualify for the world finals.