TAHITI – The winners of the Coupe de Nouvelle Caledonienne and Coupe de Polynesie Francaise have been eliminated from the Coupe de France at the first hurdle. AS Lossi – winners of
the 53rd New Caledonia Cup – and AS Tefana – current holders of the Coupe de Polynesie Francaise – turned in brave performances against French clubs but in the end succumbed.
AS Tefana’s exit at the hands of US Lesquin was heartbreaking for the French-Polynesian club after holding the visitors to 1-1 after normal time before unraveling 3-1 in extra-time
as legs became tired in the warm conditions.
AS Tefana’s departure from the competition at the 7th cut stage was a significant blow with the next round of competition including clubs from Ligue 1 such as Lyon,
Marseille and Nantes.
AS Tefana dominated possession for long periods of time but failed to create many clear cut chances to score until the second-half as US Lesquin toiled to keep the home side out. AS
Tefana eventually created a clear-cut opening through a combination of sublime skill and outrageous luck when Joan Petillon beat three defenders before crossing into the six yard box only for a US
Lesquin defender to inadvertently deflect the ball against his own post with the Lesquin goalkeeper beaten all ends up.
With the tension high, AS Tefana scored from the resulting corner in the 65th minute through Alvin Tehau to send the home crowd into delirium after Sebastien Gairin had
put in a hefty challenge on the US Lesquin goalkeeper.
US Lesquin drew level in the 80th minute through Aurelien Demarque with a far post header. With AS Tefana legs tiring it was Antoni Degeitere who put US Lesquin back on
track after AS Tefana goalkeeper Xavier Samin was eventually caught out at the far post by a penetrating ball from Rudy Guiblesi. US Lesquin’s Sebastian Didier ended the match as a contest when he
out jumped Olivier Lee to make it 3-1.
Top performers on an exciting evening for Tahitian football were goalkeeper Xavier Samin, Sebastian Labayen and Vita Pitoeff. The match was also notable for the use of communication
devices between the three match officials Jacques Averii, Raimana Tauotaha and Phillipe Revel.
New Caledonia Cup holders AS Lossi experienced a similar exit against another CFA club, FC Dieppe. After an encouraging first half AS Lossi were eventually put to the sword 3-0. New
Caledonia international Luther Wahnyamalla was in scintillating form for AS Lossi but his heroics were to no avail as the team were eliminated with the Super Ligue and this season’s edition of the
Coupe de Nouvelle Caledonienne left to concentrate on.
The Coupe de France is open to all clubs within the French football structure with the most notable recent achievement of an amateur side that of Calais Racing Union Football Club
when it reached the Coupe de France against Nantes defeating Strasbourg and Bordeaux en route to the final.
Calais Racing Union FC lost the final narrowly to Nantes by 2-1 but only after pushing the Ligue 1 team to a nervy finish with a side that featured dock workers, teachers and office
clerks. With the Coupe de France open to such a wide and varying quality of teams it is not uncommon for lower league clubs to go on long cup runs with amateur and Ligue 2 clubs often enjoying
Ligue 1, Ligue 2, and the “National” League (Ligue 3), comprise the top tier of professional/semi-professional football in France with clubs from French-Polynesia and New Caledonia
entering the Coupe de France alongside peers from the Championnat Francaise Amateur League (CFA and CFA 2), a competition which is divided into four separate sections and is the equivalent of the
“fourth division” in the French football structure.