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National team holds New Caledonia

The home team took the game to New Caledonia in the early stages and controlled most of the play in the first 15 minutes, before the visitors started to fight back.
New Caledonia pressed forward for the rest of the half but could find no way through a resolute Vanautu defence, expertly organised by Selwyn Sese , Brian Kaltak and Andrew Chichirua.
Seule Soromon came off the bench in the second spell for Vanuatu and caused New Caledonia some problems. He had a good chance to score from close range but couldn’t get his shot on target.
New Caledonia nearly took the lead in the 70th minute when Michel Hmae hit the goal post twice in quick succession and the Vanuatu woodwork was struck again just ten minutes later from a Lolohea Cesar shot.
But arguably the best chance of the match fell to veteran striker Richard Iwai, who had an empty New Caledonia net at his disposal but somehow failed to force the ball home.
Vanuatu goalkeeper Chikau Mansale pulled off some excellent saves to keep his side in the game and was named man of the match for his acrobatic efforts.
Substitute Soromon was disappointed not to have won but says it was good for the Vanuatu players to get a game under their belts.
“We will just have to pull up our socks and try to regroup well before the Pacific Games in New Caledonia in August,” he says.
Assistant coach Philemon John says the squad did not have much time together before the match and was therefore pleased with the outcome.
“It’s an incredible result because we have hardly trained as a team and I think we played very well,” he says.
The match was New Caledonia’s second of their Vanuatu visit. They also took on O-League representatives Amicale last weekend and succumbed to a surprising 3-1 defeat.
For more on Vanuatu football go to www.vanuafoot.vu

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