It was a day of goals, shock and drama at the XIII South Pacific Games – Samoa 2007 with surprise packets Tuvalu scoring a dramatic last gasp 1-1 draw with
In Group B Samoa and Tonga served up a pulsating and passionate encounter as the near-neighbours fought an exciting battle that host-nation Samoa won 2-1 thanks to goals from
Desmond Faaiuaso and Lionel Taylor. Tonga contributed greatly to an exciting match with Unaloto Feao silencing the 2,500 strong crowd with a
53rd minute equaliser that had the home crowd on the edge of their seats.
The victory gives Samoa an outside chance of a semi-final berth if they can cause an upset and defeat Solomon Islands on Saturday 1st September at 1430hrs
Samoa coach Falevi Umutaua was ecstatic at his team’s victory. “It was a tough match, very physical but we’re happy with the result. Unfortunately, we have lost
Chris Cahill because of a second yellow card tonight.”
Goal hero Lionel Taylor was equally elated. “I felt great. It was a tough match but I gave the best I could like all the team for Samoa. Tonight was very important that the
home crowd helped us. I’m just happy after this game because it was hard out there. During my goal I didn’t think about
what I was doing. I just took the ball and it was all instinct,” Taylor said.
For goals, look no further than Vanuatu’s 15-0 win over American Samoa where Seule Soromon, Francis Sakama and Etienne Mermer helped themselves to a bucket full of goals.
Andrew Chichirua and Tom Phillip Tomake helped round off the goal feast for Vanuatu in a victory that has Alwyn Job’s team sitting atop Group A on goal difference from
Meanwhile, New Caledonia slipped quietly into the semi-finals with an efficient 3-0 win over a battling Cook Islands team. Iamel Kabeu (2) and inspirational captain Pierre
Wajoka (1) were on target for the New Caledonians who kept their 100% win record and have yet to concede a goal.
New Caledonia coach Didier Chamberon was happy with the result and performance and promised there was more to come from his team. “There was a lot of satisfaction tonight we played a good match. This was am very important result because our last match against Tuvalu was very
disappointing. It was important we came back in the right manner and today we achieved that. What is
important too is we are in the semi-finals but we will have to play hard against Fiji. For our team we have to stay at the top of our game and build confidence we cannot take anything for
Cook Islands coach Tim Jerks was disappointed again but was looking forward to taking on both Tahiti and Tuvalu. “I was pleased with the team they played to their instructions,
were organized, but again, I feel disappointed. I thought Tony Jamieson was fantastic for us – he had a wonderful game in goal. We’re looking forward to meeting Tahiti and Tuvalu and I’m confident
we can not only get a result in those games, but wins.”
Tuvalu super-sub Viliamu Sekefi sent his team into delirium when he slotted home an 88th minute equaliser that left Tahiti’s semi-final hopes in
tatters. Earlier, Tuvalu had missed a penalty through their skipper after 8 minutes, a moment that appeared to suggest Tuvalu were in for a difficult afternoon.
Tahiti had dominated proceedings for long periods of the match but without finding a way past a stubborn Tuvalan rearguard that rarely ventured off its own 18 yard
box. Tahiti looked to be on their way to victory when Axel Williams scored after 46 minutes but then failed
to capitalize on their superiority with Samuel Garcia and Raoimana Lee Fung Kuee both substituted. Roimoana Bennett emerged from the bench in the second half but made little impact as Sekefi
entered the fray after 74 minutes before scoring an equaliser that must’ve felt more like a winner.