18 Feb 2014

Sport: World Cup berth up for grabs at Oceania U20 Women's Football Champs

12:56 pm on 18 February 2014

The final berth at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada is up for grabs this week at the Oceania Championship in Auckland.

Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are faced with the task of upsetting hosts and favourites New Zealand, who've represented Oceania at the last four World Cups.

The event will be a new experience in more ways than one for Tonga.

The Kingdom didn't take part in the last U-20 tournament two years ago but a number of the current squad did compete at the Pacific Games.

Penateti Feke is the first woman to coach the national team and says it's a big challenge for everyone involved.

"Most of the girls were not familiar with playing international games. You can tell it's a bit new for them but after the first [warm up] game they improved [and] hopefully they will still improve and play to what we have seen in Tonga".

Tonga play Papua New Guinea in the first match this on Monday afternoon followed by Vanuatu against hosts and favourites New Zealand.

Vanuatu coach Thomas MacDonald admits this event is very much a learning exercise for his team.

"Well this is Vanuatu's first representation at a Youth OFC Event. I mean we're always here to win but we're here to provide these girls with experience for future tournaments, especially senior tournaments, where they girls have experience at international competition and feel more comfortable playing at international tournaments around the world".

The overall winner will represent Oceania at the Under 20 World Cup in August.