Oceania Football Confederation > News > OFC Nations Cup 2012 > Curtain to be raised on Nations Cup

Curtain to be raised on Nations Cup

Samoa and Tahiti have the honour of opening the tournament when they meet at 12:00pm local time while Vanuatu and New Caledonia will square off in the afternoon’s second match at 3:00pm local time.
The winner of the Nations Cup will qualify for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 while the four semi-finalists will go on to contest stage three of World Cup qualifying.
Here’s a look at the action that’s in store on day one.
Samoa vs. Tahiti – 12:00pm Friday 1 June
Samoa and Tahiti have very different objectives in mind for the Nations Cup and the result of this match will go some way towards deciding their chances of achieving those goals. For Tahiti, the aim is simple – the eyes of coach Eddy Etaeta are firmly fixed on a place in the semi-finals and three points against tournament underdogs Samoa are a must. In contrast, Samoa counterpart Malo Vaga knows a top-four berth is likely to be out of reach for his charges and will instead be targeting at least one positive result in the proud sporting country’s Nations Cup debut. He will be hoping that result arrives tomorrow but, if Samoa are to suffer a loss, Vaga must ensure it is not of a heavy nature as this would be a big blow to the players’ confidence ahead of the rest of the tournament. The most important of those players are likely to be defender Andrew Setefano, who has O-League experience with Papua New Guinea club Hekari United, Luki Gosche, Mike Saofaiga and the Hoeflich brothers, Joseph and Max. Tahiti’s key figures include goalkeeper Xavier Samin – one of the safest pair of hands in the Pacific – and strikers Alvin Tehau and Roihau Degage, who finished as joint top scorers for Tefana during the Tahitian club’s march to the 2012 O-League final. In a significant blow to Tahiti’s prospects though, Etaeta is without pint-sized playmaker Sebastian Labayen, who could not travel to Honiara due to other commitments.
In their own words
“We have had a training programme for six months and are ready to challenge Tahiti tomorrow. We know we are the underdogs for this competition and it will be very challenging for us. Tahiti will play at a faster pace than we are used to and we will have to lift ourselves to deal with that.” – Samoa assistant coach Faimasasa Taito
“We have been building up to this for the last three years. The Nations Cup is the final stage on what has been a long road for us. We are taking this game against Samoa very seriously because they won the preliminary tournament and will be very competitive.” – Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta
Vanuatu vs. New Caledonia – 3:00pm Friday 1 June
Despite this mouth-watering clash arriving so early in the tournament, it is likely to have a major bearing on the outcome of Group A as both these sides are very much contenders for the title. New Caledonia have the right to consider themselves the best Oceania side outside of New Zealand after winning the 2011 Pacific Games as hosts. But that previous success will be somewhat of a double-edged sword in Honiara as it also makes them one of the sides others will be keen to beat. Vanuatu in particular have a score to settle with New Caledonia after being humbled 5-0 by Les Cagous at the Games, a result that ultimately cost them a place in the semi-finals. Failure to make the final four again here will be a major disappointment to the youthful Vanuatu line-up, the most likely of whom to catch the eye are cousins Brian and Jean Kaltack – two of the most exciting young talents in the Pacific. The squad also features a wealth of experience though in Selwin Sese Ala, Jean Robert Yelou, Derek Malas and goalkeeper Enest Bong. They will have to be at their best to deal with strikers Bertrand Kai and Georges Gope-Fenepej, who will form one of the most dangerous frontlines at the tournament. The former in particular has a proven ability to find the net, having struck 10 goals to earn the Golden Boot at the Pacific Games.
In their own words
“We have brought through a lot of players from the U-23 Olympic squad and arrived here early to get used to the conditions and the weather. Our young players are used to playing with each other because they have been together for a few years now in our youth programme. They will bring enthusiasm to the side but we also have some very experienced players.” – Vanuatu coach Percy Avock
“We are looking to continue on our form from the Pacific Games but there are a few players who are no longer available. We cannot do anything about that but have brought in some new players and hope they will perform well. It will be hard against the other teams because Vanuatu and Tahiti are both very good sides.” – New Caledonia coach Alain Moizan
All 16 matches streamed LIVE with registration available at ofctv.e-cast.co.nz
Match Details
Samoa vs. Tahiti
12:00pm, Friday 1 June
Lawson Tama Stadium
Honiara, Solomon Islands
Referee: Gerald OIAKA [SOL]
Assistant Referee 1: Mark RULE [NZL]
Assistant Referee 2: Jackson NAMO [SOL]
4th Official: John SAOHU [SOL]
Samoa: 1. Aukusitino AITUPE [GK], 2. Andrew SETEFANO, 3. Peni KITIONA, 4. Vaalii FAALOGO, 5. Tamato FENIKA, 6. Silao MALO, 7. Jarrel SALE, 8. Joseph HOEFLICH, 9. Max HOEFLICH, 10. Luki GOSCHE, 11. Suivai ATAGA, 12. Mike SAOFAIGA, 13. Sapati UMUTAUA, 14. Sopo FAKAUA, 15. Patrick ASIATA, 16. Amilale ESAROMA, 17. Spencer KELI, 18. Masei AMOSA, 19. Ethan ELISAIA [GK], 20. Motu HAFOKA [GK]
Coach: Malo VAGA
Tahiti: 1. Mikael ROCHE [GK], 2. Alvin TEHAU, 3. Tamatoa WAGEMANN, 4. Teheivarii LUDIVION, 6. Lorenzo TEHAU, 7. Henri CAROINE, 8. Angelo TCHEN, 9. Teaonui TEHAU, 10. Nicolas VALLAR, 11. Manaraii PORLIER, 12. Hiro POROIAE, 13. Steevy CHONG HUE, 14. Roihau DEGAGE, 15. Heimano BOUREBARE, 16. Pierre KOHUMOETINI, 17. Jonathan TEHAU, 18. Edson LEMAIRE, 19. Vincent SIMON, 21. Xavier SAMIN [GK]
Coach: Eddy ETAETA
Vanuatu vs. New Caledonia
3:00pm, Friday 1 June
Lawson Tama Stadium
Honiara, Solomon Islands
Referee: Peter O’LEARY [NZL]
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hendrik HINTZ [NZL]
Assistant Referee 2: Ravinesh KUMAR [FIJ]
4th Official: Chris KERR [NZL]
Vanuatu: 1. Enest BONG [GK], 2. Kevin SHEM, 3. Young PAUL, 4. Selwin SESE ALA, 5. Robert TOM, 6. Fredy VAVA, 7. Jean Robert YELOU, 8. Sailas NAMATAK, 9. Derek MALAS, 10. Jean KALTACK, 11. Robert TASSO, 12. Joseph NAMARIAU, 13. Francois SAKAMA, 14. Kensi TANGIS, 15. Alphonse BONGNAIM, 16. Seiloni IARUEL [GK], 17. Jean NAPRAPOL, 18. Michell KALTAK, 19. Roddy LENGA, 20. Lucien HINGE, 21. Dominique FRED, 22. Brian KALTACK, 23. Simon TOUSI [GK]
Coach: Percy AVOCK
New Caledonia: 1. Rocky NYIKEINE [GK], 2. Judikael IXOEE, 3. Emile BEARUNE, 4. Georges BEARUNE, 5. Kalaje GNIPATE, 6. Olivier DOKUNENGO, 7. Dominique WACALIE, 8. Miguel KAYARA, 9. Jacques HAEKO, 10. Marius BAKO, 11. Bertrand KAI, 12. Roy KAYARA, 13. Noel KAUDRE, 14. Dick KAUMA, 15. Jean Patrick WAKANUMUNE, 16. Iamel KABEU, 17. Joel WAKANUMUNE, 18. Jonathan KAKOU, 19. Georges GOPE-FENEPEJ, 20. Marc OUNEMOA [GK]
Coach: Alain MOIZAN

Related posts