Jasmine Makiasi made football history for American Samoa tonight when she scored her countries first ever goal – and earned the team’s first ever point – in women’s
international football. Makiasi’s equaliser and American Samoa’s comeback was the big shock of the XIII South Pacific Games Women’s Football Tournament so far though Cook Islands
will rue a myriad of missed chances in the first half that cost them a victory that – based on the run of play – appeared a formality.
This impression was given weight when American Samoa’s back four stood watching a long ball from a free kick allow Isabel Urirau to run through unimpeded and trundle a comfortable
finish under Filiga Kerisiano after 24 minutes.
But Cook Islands night went downhill from there with a string of missed chances including a freekick just 6 yards out that Regina Mustoven fired straight into the American Samoa
wall. Isabel Urirau turned from hero to villain when she fired a header from point blank range high over the crossbar with Filiga Kerisiano rooted firmly to her line.
Kerisiano – one of three Kerisiano family members in the national side – has wowed the crowds at J.S.Blatter Playing Field with her no-nonsense and uncomplicated approach to
goalkeeping and it was this unconventional style that got American Samoa over the finish line.
Cook Islands coach Tim Jerks was disappointed with the result and said his team were capable of much better. “I’m disappointed with the performance. We failed in the top third
tonight and had enough chances in the first half to win the game four or five-nil…but we just didn’t finish.
In the second half we didn’t work hard enough and that’s unacceptable. The players are very disappointed, you can see that, and we are capable of much better,” Jerks said.
By contrast, American Samoa coach Tunoa Lui was understandably excited. “This is a very good result for us – the feeling is hard to describe. We had two fourteen year olds out there
tonight and one who has just turned 39 and I thought we played well.
The players worked very hard and we are very emotional at the moment,” Lui said.
American Samoa goalkeeper Filiga Kerisiano was in tears at the final whistle following the historic result. “We played very well and I am excited to be here. This result means so
much to all of us,” Kerisiano said.
American Samoa’s next match is against the might of Fiji on Thursday 30th August (1500hrs GMT-13) while Cook Islands meet Solomon Islands (1800hrs).
AMERICAN SAMOA 1 (Jasmine Makiasi 63rd min)
COOK ISLANDS 1 (Isabel Urirau
AMERICAN SAMOA: 1. Filiga KERISIANO; 4. Tofaagaolii OLOALUGA; 5. Fetu LAKISA; 7. Angela SAO; 8. Lelamay KERISIANO;
9. Meleane KERISIANO; 10. Ivette HERRERA (14. Ora BROWN 63′); 11. Sandra HERRERA (19. Titula NAUER 66′); 13. Momi ENE (2. Maria SEFO 91′); 15. Jasmine MAKIASI; 18. Jermaima Fautino
Coach: Tunoa LUI
Subs not used (remplaçants n’ayant pas joué): 3. Regina WRIGHT; 6. Lita TAOTOTO; 12. Beaulah ONEY; 16. Nellie TAUMANUPEPE.
Red cards: None.
COOK ISLANDS: 1. Heimata HEATHER; 2. Linda MATANGARO; 4. Helen PATIA; 6. Teariivahine HENRY; 7. Mii PIRI (Elizabeth HARMON 61′); 8. Edwina
MATENGA; 9. Isobel URIRAU; 10. Regina MUSTONEN; 13. Tekura KAUKURA; 14. Tupou PATIA; 17. Teremoana HEWETT (16. Vaine NAPA 66′).
Coach: Tim JERKS
Subs not used (remplaçants n’ayant pas joué): 5. Edwina TUTU; 11. Melanie RAKEI; 15. Ana TUAKEU; 20. Mareta ANGENE.
Cautions: 10. Regina MUSTONEN (27′).
Red cards: None.
Referee: Job Ponis MINAN (PNG)
Assistant Referee: Tevita MAKASINI (TON)
Assistant Referee: Kaleti MATAPULE (SAM)