Vanuatu have spoiled the Samoan party atmosphere at the XIII South Pacific Games with a 4-0 drubbing of host nation Samoa. The victory puts Vanuatu in second place behind Solomon Islands – 12-1
victors over American Samoa earlier today.
Coach Robert Calvo was delighted with the strong performance against a well-drilled Samoa side but left the host nation needing a miracle performance against Solomon Islands to have any hope of a
shot at the semi-finals.
Vanuatu hero Richard Iwai continued his rich vein of form carrying on from where he left off at the OFC Beach Soccer Championship – New Zealand 2007 when he scored the opener after 21 minutes.
The goal captured the overall mood of expectancy surrounding Vanuatu football with the national beach soccer team achieving their second runners-up placing in two years in OFC competition featuring
many of the stars of the national team.
Iwai is joined by Ken Masauvakalo, Fenedy Masauvakalo and Victor Maleb as “double” internationals for their country. Samoa, by contrast, were left disappointed after a fractious performance.
Pre-match optimism was replaced by a sense of anti-climax as Vanuatu’s pacy, direct, style of play continued to test a Samoan defence for whom good intention abounded but any semblance of pace was
largely a mystery.
The impact of the defeat will be keenly felt when Samoa meet Airton Andrioli’s in-form Solomon Islands. Without doubt, Samoa will be required to cause a miracle of epic proportions assuming the
‘Bonito’ do as expected and account for Tonga. A victory for Vanuatu over Solomon Islands would still be required to give Chris Cahill (pictured above) and his team any hope of a semi-final
Tonga coach Kilifi Uele said his team were not simply in Samoa to make up numbers and felt they had a realistic chance of ruffling feathers.
“We have prepared as well as expected. I would hope that we can be competitive and I feel confident that we can do well against American Samoa and Samoa,” Uele said.
Uele coached the Tongan women’s team at the OFC FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifyiers – Papua New Guinea 2007 with his team finishing third.
2008 OFC Nations Cup/FIFA World Cup – South Africa 2010 Qualifiers
XIII SOUTH PACIFIC GAMES – SAMOA 2007
Match day 1 – 25 August 2007 – 15:00
Stade Joseph Sepp BLATTER – Apia – Samoa
Result Match 1
Nako NAPRAPOL (75’, 10. Seule SOROMON); 12. Fenedy MASAUVAKALO; 14. Pita David MAKI; 16. Richard IWAI; 17. Geoffrey Lego GETE; 18. Jacques MAFIL NAWAN(70’, 2. Samson OBED); 21. Maki
15. Victor MALEB; 19. Derek MALAS.
SAMOA: 1. Pasi SCHWALGER; 3. Damien FONOTI; 4. Chris CAHILL; 6. Fauivi UGAPO; 10. Desmond FAAIUASO; 11. Junior
MICHAEL (77’, 8. Joseph HOEFLICH); 12. Filipo BURETA; 13. Lionel TAYLOR; 14. Bevan KAPISI (58’, 7. Fereti GOSCHE ); 16. Penitito TUMUA; 18.
Coach: Falevi UMUTAUA
Subs not used (remplaçants n’ayant pas joué): 2. Voa SAUAGA; 5. Jererell SALE; 9. Max Tom HOEFLICH; 15. Edwin TYRELL; 17. Horst PETANA; 19. Sapati
UMUTAUA; 20. Filipo ULI; 21. Keith Tasi STANFIELD.
Cautions (Cartons jaunes): 4. Chris CAHILL (SAM), 11. Junior MICHAEL (SAM), 8. Joseph HOEFLICH (SAM)
Referee: Jacque AVERII (TAH)
Assistant Referee: Brent BEST (NZL)
Assistant Referee: Rohitesh DAYAL (FIJ)