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Tahiti back to winning ways

The Toa Aito were without coach Eddy Etaeta and defender Ariihau Teriitau, who were both suspended following their expulsions from the opening match against Mayotte on Saturday, and they were also missing captain Nicolas Vallar, who left the field injured in that game, a 3-1 defeat.
Sideline coaching duties were taken on by Etaeta’s assistant, Ludovic Graugnard, who called on his charges to play like warriors.
“In the pre-game talk I emphasised the value of men,” he said.
“I wasn’t speaking about footballers but of men so that they recover those qualities of conquerors, of competitors who have lost the last three matches.”
Despite his rousing speech, it was Martinique who opened the scoring in the seventh minute before Alvin Tehau equalised with an early second-half strike.
Tahiti scored again in the 67th minute thanks to Stanley Atani before Tehau netted his second to increase their lead to 3-1. An 82nd-minute strike closed the gap but the Toa Aito were able to hang on for a vital and morale-boosting victory.
Graugnard will be pleased with the side’s latest performance after unrelenting pressure from the opposition and a lack of possession caused huge problems for them against Mayotte.
“We were still riding the wave of our last results,” Graugnard said of that match.
“We are also yet to begin our season and we have badly missed the competition. That was obvious in this first match.”
Tahiti are now looking ahead to the third and final Pool B match where they will meet their Pacific cousins New Caledonia.
Les Cagous will be looking for a win to restore some of their honour following 2-0 losses to both Martinique and Mayotte in their first two matches.
For highlights of the match between New Caledonia and Mayotte click here
French Overseas Territories Cup
Pool B
Mayotte, 8 pts (+4)
Martinique, 4 pts (+1)
Tahiti, 4 pts (-1)
New Caledonia, 0 pts (-4)
Upcoming matches
Wednesday 26 September
Tahiti vs New Caledonia, 5pm local time
Friday 28 September
7th/8th Play-off match, 2pm local time
5th/6th Play-off match, 4.30pm local time
Saturday 29 September
3rd/4th Play-off match (2nd Group A vs 2nd Group B), 3pm local time
Final (1st Group A vs 1st Group B), 5.30pm local time

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