BY ROMULUS HUTA
NEW Zealand coach Jose Figueira expresses huge disappointment following his side’s 5-0 loss against Solomon Islands on Wednesday
but has strongly vowed to bounce back in their final Group A match.
The young All Whites will play PNG in their final group match of the OFC Under-16 Championship this Saturday.
Figueria said: “Obviously, I’m disappointed with the result. It’s a little bit unfortunate that the score got a little bit big towards the end.
“Huge congratulations to the Solomons for sending their best team today, they deserved the win. For our boys at this stage, is a completely different experience you know, playing against players and teams and a style of football that they’ve never come across.”
Figueira admitted that the big loss is good learning experience for his boys.
“I think we’ll take a big learning lesson from today.
“Putting things into perspective, it’s not the end of the world and we’ll look to obviously bounce back which I’m sure we will do in the third game to qualify out of the group.
“Of course, we are looking forward to the game against PNG when you have a result like this, you’d wanna play that match tomorrow.
“There’ll be a few sad faces today, but look once we review the game, recover, we’ll be back on top and ready to go for the third game. And again the lesson from today is to take nothing for granted, believe what we believe in, and just have a little bit more concentration in quality and some more key moments.
“As a coach you take responsibility. So I take responsibility for the result today.
“The boys ran till the end and worked their socks off and like you see a few of them kind of fell over with emotions and things.
“But look, that’s football, you have these lessons, you have to bounce back and we’ll come back stronger in the third game,” he expressed.
New Zealand’s match against PNG is scheduled for 10am on Saturday with both sides having equal opportunities to qualify into the semifinal as they are tied on three points each.