Oceania Football Confederation > News > Pacific Games New Caledonia 2011 > Hosts win through to men’s and women’s finals

Hosts win through to men’s and women’s finals

Les Cagous set the Kone croud alight with the women’s team finding a last minute winner to beat Tonga 3-2 before their male counterparts came from a goal down to beat Tahiti Nui 3-1 in extra time.
There was more drama at Stade Hnasse on the island of Lifou as Solomon Islands also needed extra time to edge Fiji 2-1 while at PLGC Stadium in Noumea, Papua New Guinea women had an easier time beating Fiji 4-0 en route to their third consecutive Pacific Games final.
It was the New Caledonian women who got proceedings underway at Stade Yoshida with the early kick-off time of 9:00am. Tonga were hoping to spoil the party and looked on track when Salome Va’enuku found the top corner with her free-kick after 33 minutes.
But New Caledonian striker Christelle Wahnawe stole the show in the second half scoring two inside the hour mark before completing her hat-trick with a last gasp winner after Va’enuku had earlier made it 2-2.
For a side that had previously never won a match at the Pacific Games, the dream run continues for New Caledonia thanks in large part to Wahnawe who now has 11 goals to her name.
In the other women’s semi-final, Papua New Guinea went ahead against Fiji in the 17th minute with Ramona Morris making an incisive run into the box and slotting the ball past Matelita Vuakoso.
Fiji put up a strong showing but a second half hat-trick from Sandra Birum – remarkably all coming from the midfielder’s head within a five minute period – took the score out to 4-0 which flattered the defending champions.
The feature match of the day between old rivals New Caledonia and Tahiti in the men’s draw certainly lived up to expectations.
There were chances aplenty in the first half but it wasn’t until the 51st minute that Tahiti got the scoring underway when Hiroana Poroiae’s wide freekick went straight through everyone and into the back of the net.
New Caledonia were up against it when captain Iamel Kabeu was given his marching orders shortly afterwards but the hosts somehow dug deep to find an 89th minute equaliser courtesy of Georges Gope-Fenepej.
Extra time followed and Gope-Fenepej was Johnny-on-the-spot again heading home in the 108th minute before Michel Hmae made it three to round out a fiery encounter, which saw no less than eight cards.
The other men’s semi-final followed in much the same vein with a goalless first half between Fiji and Solomon Islands. The Fijians, who were missing Roy Krishna through suspension, found a way through on 69 minutes as Archie Watkins’ clever chest pass set up Maciu Dunadamu for the finish. But Joses Nawo pulled one back less than 10 minutes later after an error of judgment by Fijian goalkeeper Simione Tamnisau to come off his line and clear the ball.
With the scores locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, Solomon Islands struck early in extra time with Henry Fa’arodo converting from the penalty spot after James Naka had gone down inside the box.
Injuries became a factor for Fiji as several players received treatment or were forced from the field but the 2007 finalists still had plenty of chances to hit back. Eventually it was the Bonitos’ superior possession game that made the difference and kept Lifou’s lively fans entertained.
Solomon Islands will now face New Caledonia in the final which kicks off at 8pm from Noumea’s Stade Numa Daly on Friday 9 September. This will be preceded by the women’s final between New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea at 5:30pm.
The Bronze medal matches will also be played on Friday with the women’s match between Fiji and Tonga kicking off at 10am and the men’s clash between Fiji and Tahiti set for 3pm – both at Stade Boewa in Boulari.

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