Tahiti earn bragging rights

But it is Tahiti who can hold their heads high after beating New Caledonia 5-3 on penalties after the match ended in a 1-1 draw at the Langrenay de Longjumeau Stadium.
New Caledonia opened the score early in the Pacific derby when Francis Watrone netted in the sixth minute. Despite the New Caledonia domination, Tahiti slowly began to get back into the game and equalised through Alex William after half an hour.
The rest of the half was an even contest and the teams went into the sheds with the scores level.
The start of the second spell followed a similar pattern to the first with New Caledonian dominating but failing to take their scoring opportunities.
The key moment of the game arrived in the 68th minute when the referee dismissed two New Caledonian players – Marius Bako received a straight red for a dangerous tackle on Lorenzo Tehau while Benjamin Longue was given his second yellow for back chatting to the referee.
New Caledonia played the last 25 minutes with nine players but managed to organise their defence well and made it to the end of the match without conceeding.
The Tahiti players kept their cool during the shoot out and slotted home each penalty. New Caledonia could not do likewsie, missing one before Tahiti goalkeeper Xavier Samine became a hero by saving another.
Despite the Tahiti success, neither OFC side progressed through to the minor final and grand final, which will instead be contested between Guadeloupe and Mayotte, and La RĂ©union and Martinique respectively.

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