Wright makes U17 debut in Qatar
Matamata teenager Oliver Wright made his New Zealand under-17 debut when coming off the bench in the Young All Whites 1-2 loss to Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar.
The New Zealand under-17 team has signed off from a fortnight-long camp in Doha, Qatar with the loss.
From a well-worked short corner in the 54th minute, a deft piece of control and sharp half- volley from Cameron Howieson on the edge of the area brought the New Zealanders level, cancelling out a stunning long-range opener from Aspire’s captain in the 25th minute.
But the hosts converted a winner inside the final ten minutes when the Young All Whites’ defence could only manage a partial clearance.
the world-leading Doha facility, extended from two matches when the Young All Whites were withdrawn from the 16-team Sanix Cup tournament in Japan due to safety concerns, has seen New Zealand beat a Club Brugge age group side 1-0 and drop a trio of matches to Aspire Academy 3-4, 0-3, and 1-2.
Coach Steve Cain said the experience had been invaluable as his side tried to make the step up from Oceania qualifiers to the Fe´ de´ ration Internationale de Football Association U17 World Cup in Mexico in June and July.
This trip, to an academy quite possibly unmatched in the world, had been a huge stepping stone for our team. Defenders Reece Lambert and Harshae Raniga along with forward Tim Payne shone on tour with Jordan Vale and Dylan Stansfield not far behind.
The next date in the Young All Whites calendar is the official draw for the finals on May 17, shortly after the conclusion of European and South American qualification tournaments complete the 24 nation field.
New Zealand Football are also looking for more games for the Young All Whites before the start of the finals on June 18.