Phoenix Youngsters Make Their Mark

Members of Wellington Phoenix’s Football School of Excellence, along with two of its graduates, helped the Junior All Whites begin their campaign to qualify for the Fifa under-20 World Cup finals with an impressive 5-0 win over Papua New Guinea in Fiji.

Members of Wellington Phoenix-s Football School of Excellence, along with two of its graduates, helped the Junior All Whites begin their campaign to qualify for the Fifa under-20 World Cup finals with an impressive 5-0 win over Papua New Guinea in Fiji.

Four members of the FSE, Scott Basalaj, Tom Biss, Justin Gulley and Hamish Watson were in the starting line-up, alongside graduates Louis Fenton and Tyler Boyd who are now regular Phoenix first team squad members.

Fenton, who has been impressive in his first Hyundai A-League season, got the Junior All Whites off to a flying start with an early penalty after Watson had been fouled in the area and quickly added a second.

Watson headed in from a corner just before halftime to put the New Zealanders 3-0 up and substitute Dale Higham (YoungHeart Manawatu) made it 4-0 with a 79th minute header.

Boyd added the Junior All Whites- fifth goal two minutes later from the penalty spot after he had been brought down.

Coach Chris Milicich was pleased to get off to a winning start against what he described as a competitive Papua New Guinea.

“Five good goals against what was a very competitive unit was pleasing,” Milicich said.

“Their goalkeeper had a great match and they worked hard throughout, pressing us high and causing some problems.

“We were able to control possession and dictate the pace of the game, which proved crucial in the heat.”