30-0! Kiwis produce rugby score in football

When seeing the scoreline "New Zealand 30 Samoa 0", you would be forgiven for thinking it was the score of a rugby match, most likely one still in progress.

If not that, then surely at least a league contest, or even perhaps a lopsided opening basketball quarter.

Or, if you rearrange the scoreline ever so slightly, maybe Samoa have taken up age-group cricket and are struggling to break New Zealand's opening partnership.

Alright, that last one is a stretch, but one of the options you wouldn't expect is the result of a football match, which is exactly what happened when New Zealand met Samoa at the OFC Under-19 Women's Championship.

Yup, that's how New Zealand started their bid to qualify for the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup, smacking 30 goals past Samoa in Rarotonga in a game that was as lopsided as it was pointless.

Kelli Brown found the net within seconds of kick-off, had four goals to her name with little more than 15 minutes gone and ended the afternoon with a remarkable 11-goal haul.

In all, seven players found their way onto the scoresheet and Brown was joined by four others in notching at least a hat-trick.

Maggie Jenkins and Arabella Maynard both helped themselves to five goals each – the latter doing so despite not even playing in the first half – while Gabi Rennie and Rene Wasi were the other hat-trick heroines.

It was such a thumping that even the usually retweet-happy New Zealand Football Twitter account only bothered to alert people to the halftime and fulltime scores, while the poor people running the Oceania Football account found themselves having to tweet out graphics and the video of all 30 of the goals.

The victory – the biggest ever by a New Zealand age-group side, though alarmingly not by that much - once again raises the legitimate question of whether there's any point to these tournaments at all. While on the men's side, the conditions and skills on offer in Oceania often means that the Kiwi sides are tested – and sometimes beaten – women's football in Oceania has nowhere near the same quality or depth, leading to a slew of thrashings for New Zealand teams and making qualification a mere formality.

Samoa certainly wouldn't have gained anything from the experience of being embarrassed, save for perhaps the goalkeeper becoming more familiar with the netting, and it's hard to imagine this helps New Zealand much either, other than getting some kilometres in the legs.

Sure, the other games will be closer, but if any team gets within five goals it will be a massive surprise, and New Zealand can already begin – if they haven't already – to prepare for a trip to Nigeria in 2020.

New Zealand 30 (Kelli Brown 11, Arabella Maynard 5, Maggie Jenkins 5, Rene Wasi 3, Gabi Rennie 3, Amelia Abbott 2, Grace Wisnewski)
Samoa 0

HT: 11-0

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