The side completed a tour of New Caledonia recently where they took on sides from Dumbea and Lifou in the Sister City Cup, as well as meeting the 2011 Super Ligue champions Mont Dore.
The Port Vila Young Team’s first match in the three-day tournament saw them face Dumbea in an evenly-matched game which ended at 2-2.
With the game heading to a penalty shootout, the skills of Selonie Iaruel, the young goalkeeper from Tafea, were called into play. Iaruel’s strong performance saw him make two impressive saves to help his side to a 4-2 victory in the shootout.
The second and final match of the cup was another successful one for the visitors who faced off against a strong Lifou side.
Goals from Jack Niko and Dominique Fred not only helped the Port Vila Young Team to a 2-1 victory but also the 2012 Sister City Cup title.
Head coach Peter Takaro says his side’s victories are a pleasing pair of results.
“To be honest, I was not surprised because these young players are very good and play quality football.”
In their final match of the tour the young Vanuatu side took on Mont Dore, a side which is set to play in the 2013 OFC Champions League.
Team captain Brian Kaltak opened the scoring for the visitors sending a superb free kick sailing into the back of the Mont Dore net from 35 metres out.
Niko put one of his own away just before the break to give his side a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Mont Dore came back strongly in the second half but, despite scoring from a penalty, were unable to equalise before the final whistle.
Takaro says to triumph against a championship-winning side was a reflection of his young side’s talent.
“It was a strange match, neither team was better than the other so it was an incredibly difficult game,” he says.
“They were very organised and defended very well. We deserved the victory and I am very proud of my boys. It feels overwhelming, it was a sensational evening – you can only imagine something like this in your dreams, to beat the champions from a country.”
Port Vila president Christian Kaltabang says he is incredibly pleased with the results from the tour, and especially the win over Mont Dore.
“The boys really played with their hearts and they again showed to all New Caledonian football players and fans that football really is improving in Port Vila,” he says.
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