THE DAY REPLAYED: Not only were the Matches for Fifth Place at the Boys' Youth Olympic Football Tournament Nanjing 2014 highly entertaining encounters, they also served up some historic goals. Papua New Guinea set two new records in their victory over Namibia that enabled them to finish one rung higher than they did at their tournament debut four years ago in Singapore. The Africans, who ended their campaign without winning a single game, were at least left with the consolation of scoring a first ever goal at the competition. Meanwhile, Honduras gave Vanuatu no chance and were able to go out on a high note following a disappointing group stage.
Papua New Guinea 3-2 Namibia
The first goal in a gripping match was scored inside the first minute when Bellinda Giada put Papua New Guinea ahead following a mix-up in the Namibian defence. However, the Africans pulled level 15 minutes later as Ignacia Haoses struck a fine effort into the top corner from the edge of the box. Another defensive lapse by Namibia allowed Giada to put the Oceania representatives ahead once more and after Marity Sep made it 3-1, Ivone Kooper reduced the deficit again with a long-range strike.
The second half remained goalless despite both sides creating numerous chances to add to the scoreline. Haoses had the best opportunity to do so, only to see her free-kick crash off the crossbar, with Luzane de Wee heading the rebound over. At the other end of the pitch goalkeeper Quendra Kasume pulled off a smart save to deny substitute Joanne Miping.
Honduras 5-0 Vanuatu
The Hondurans’ determination to finish the tournament with a win was evident straight from kick-off, as Darwin Diego broke the deadlock for the Central Americans in the second minute. With a quarter of an hour played, Alex Laureano doubled their advantage following a powerful run down the right flank, while a brace from Mikel Santos gave them a comfortable lead at the break.
After the interval Joel Banegas was unfortunate not to add his name to the scoresheet when his deflected shot hit the post, but he would later set up Santos to complete his hat-trick. Honduras had further good chances through Banega and Paolo Belloni but wayward finishing prevented them finishing with a higher margin of victory.
It was a historic day for Papua New Guinea and Namibia as both teams netted their first ever goals at a FIFA women’s tournament. The former took part at the competition in 2010 but failed to find the net at all in three games there, and suffered the same fate in their first two group outings in Nanjing, making it an extra special occasion. Despite losing a third successive match, Namibia at least took home the consolation of scoring their maiden tournament goal.
A famous face was present at the Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium as none other than Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, greeted the girls’ teams personally prior to kick-off before following the action out on the pitch with great interest.
It was an unforgettable evening for Mikel Santos, as the Honduran striker became the fifth player to grab a hat-trick at this competition, following on from Iceland’s Helgi Gudjonsson, Korea Republic duo Kim Gyuhyeong and Lee Jiyong, as well as Cape Verde’s Ricardo.
1 - Bellinda Giada had plenty of reason to celebrate following her country’s match against Namibia. In what is just Papua New Guinea’s second appearance at a FIFA women’s tournament, she not only grabbed their first ever goal but also scored the fastest in the history of the Girls’ Youth Olympics, netting inside the first minute to write a fresh chapter in the record books.
Boys’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament Nanjing 2014
Peru - Korea Republic, Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium, Wednesday 27 August, 20:45 (local time)
Match for Third Place
Cape Verde Islands - Iceland, Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium, Wednesday 27 August, 18:00 (local time)
Girls’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament Nanjing 2014
Venezuela - China PR, Wutaishan Stadium, Tuesday 26 August, 20:45 (local time)
Match for Third Place
Mexico - Slovakia, Wutaishan Stadium, Tuesday 26 August, 18:00 (local time)