TAHITI 1 (Axel WILLIAMS 46′)
TUVALU 1 (Viliamu SEKIFU 88′)
Tuvalu caused the upset of the day after they drew 1-1 with Tahiti at JS Blatter Playing Field in Apia, Samoa today.
Tuvalu’s day got off on the wrong foot when skipper Petio Semaia missed an 8th minute penalty kick when he smashed the ball low and wide of Daniel Tapeta’s
upright. Tuvalu deserved great credit for battling through the disappointment and although they chased
shadows for most of the match they took withstood everything Tahiti threw at them including a midfield that featured Samuel Garcia and Raimana Lee Fung Kuee.
Strangely, Tahiti never got out of second gear and never really threatened Tuvalu’s goal with any real seriousness until the 46th minute when Axel Williams broke
through the Tuvalu defence to score a much needed goal for the French-Polynesians.
Tuvalu were understandably deflated with this turn of events but didn’t have much to worry about as Tahiti failed to fire in the second half. Tuvalu for their part
continued to defend deep on the edge of their own 18-yard box and at times had to defend desperately with Tahiti hitting the woodwork once with Tuvalu goalkeeper Jay Timo making several excellent
saves from Williams, substitute Raimoana Bennett and Washentine.
With time running out on the clock and Tuvalu looking down the barrel of defeat super substitute Viliamu Sekefi pounced on a slumbering Tahiti defence and fired home an
unbeleiavble equaliser past crestfallen Daniel Tapeta as the Tahitian team and bench could only watch on in wide-mouthed horror.
The result could mean the end of the tournament for Tahiti after New Caledonia defeated Cook Islands 3-0. Tahiti now must beat gold-medal favourites Fiji and Cook Islands then
hope a result goes there way – a most unlikely scenario.
Tuvalu coach Toakai Puapua was understandably delighted with Tuvalu’s first goal of these finals and paidn tribute to the hardwork of his team in the sweltering
conditions. “We stayed true to our game plan and yes, we are very happy with this result. After the Fiji game we had to
take a look at ourselves and we came up with a gameplan and so far it is working for us. I’m very happy with the result and look forward to our last game against Cook Islands,” Puapua
TUVALU: 19. Jay TIMO (gk); 4. Mau PENISULA; 5. Lolesi VAIA; 6. Paitela KELEMENE; 7. Papua ULISESE; 8. Petio SEMAIA (c); 9. Mati FUSI; 11. Paeniu FAGOTA; 13. Fulisagafou HAUMA; 15.
Jelly SELAU; 16. Imo FIAMALUA.
SUBS: 1. Moresi VALOAGA; 2. Polu TANEI; 3. Onosemu NEEMIA; 5. Lolesi VAIA; 10. Semese ALEFAIO; 14. Peniuna KAITU; 17. Hetoa KAIO; 18. Tapeni LETUETI; 20. Viliamu SEKIFU; 22.
Coach: Tokai PUAPUA.
TAHITI: 22. Daniel TAPETA (gk); 2. Teraimaru MERVIN; 4. Freddy TAUMARA; 6. Samuel GARCIA; 8. Jerome TETAVAHI; 9. Raimana LEE FUNG KUEE; 12. Hiro PORORIAE; 13. Temarii TINORUA; 15.
Farahia TEUIRA; 16. Axel WILLIAMS; 20. Teva ZAVERONI (c).
SUBS: 3. Jean-Yves LI WA UT; 5. Stephane GELIMA; 7. Billy MATATITAI; 10. Raimoana BENNETT; 11. Auguste WASHETINE; 14. Neuffer TAUFA; 21. Angelo TCHEN; 23. Xavier SAMIN.
Coach: Gerard KAUTAI
Referee: Chris LENGATA (SOL)
Assistant Referee: Hamilton SIAU (SOL)
Assistant Referee: Michael JOSEPH (VAN)
Fourth Official: Finau VULIVULI (FIJ)
1′ – The match kicks off with Tahiti firmly ensconced in Tuvalu’s half of the pitch
3′ – Samuel Garcia is dominating the midfield at this early stage of the match as Tuvalu defend deep in their own half
6′ – GOAL DISALLOWED Axel Williams scores for Tahiti but referee Chris Lengata disallows the goal for offside
7′ – A handball by Freddy Tauhara results in a freekick for Tuvalu but Tuvalu skipper Petio SEMAIA misses the resulting opportunity. It’s still 0-0.
10′ – Tahiti seem to be going through the paces with very little movement going forward.
13′- Roimana LEE FUNG KUEE shoots a freekick from long range but the shot is snaffled up by the Tuvalu goalkeeper Jay TIMO
15′ – Tahiti have another shot at goal but it is easily saved again by Jay TIMO.
18′ – YELLOW CARD Tuvalu – Jelly SELAU is booked for a hard challenge on a Tahitian player
19′ – Tuvalu set about a rare foray into the Tahiti half but the move breaks down and Tahiti attack on the counter
20′ – A Samuel Garcia freekick is fired over the crossbar from just outside the Tuvalu penalty area and the match remains level at 0-0
22′ – Tahiti win the first corner of the match taken by Jerome TETAVAHI but the delivery doesn’t threaten the Tuvalu defence and another opportunity for Tahiti goes begging.
25′ – Another corner for Tahiti by TETAVAHI resulting in a shot on goal for Temarii TINORUA but the shot is well-saved by Tuvalu goalkeeper Jay TIMO
29′ – A corner for Tahiti taken by skipper Teva ZAVERONI is headed straight at Tuvalu goalkeeper Jay TIMO who is having a splendid match for his country
30′ – Tahiti have dominated this entire match without being able to break down the stubborn Tuvalu defence. Tuvalu have rarely ventured forward. Are Tahiti feeling the pressure?
31′ – Raimana LEE FUNG KUEE has two shots saved in quick succession by Jay TIMO
34′ – Tuvalu defender Mau PENISULA makes a daring run forward with the ball but just fails to link up his pass with Petio SEMAIA who is tackled by Teraimaru MERVIN
35′ – Tuvalua are making life difficult for Tahi
ti breaking up attacks in the midfield and keeping Tahiti on the edge of the Tuvalu penalty area.
38′ – SUBSTITUTION – The experienced Raimana LEE FUNG KUEE hobbles off injured and is replaced by Neuffer TAUFA
41′ – Tuvalu hit a long ball down field for the short frame of Paeniu FAGOTA to chase down but he is headed off by good defending from Freddy TAUHARA.
45′- Tahiti are struggling to overcome Tuvalu and will play one minute of time added on.
46’+ GOAL! TAHITI score thanks to a powerful header from Axel WILLIAMS! The referee blows his whistle for the halftime break in which Tuvalu looked to be heading for another shock
result. Tahiti will feel relieved to have made the breakthrough after labouring for much of the first 45 minutes.
HALFTIME: TUV vs TAH 0-1
46′ – The match restarts in warm conditions with a Tahiti SUBSTITUTION Raimoana BENNETT replacing Samuel GARCIA
51′- Tahiti shoot for goal through Axel WILLIAMS but the ball ricochets off the head of Tuvalu’s Jelly SILAU
52′ – Tuvalu goalkeeper Jay TIMO is being kept busy and is forced to make a diving save at the feet of WILLIAMS
54′ – Axel WILLIAMS makes a break for the byline and cuts an inviting cross back into the penalty area but the chance is lost as Tuvalu clear the danger
60′ – Tahiti dominate Tuvalu but the midfield is struggling to play a decisive pass in the final third of the pitch
63′ – A defensive error by Jerome TETAVAHI almost lets Imo FIAMALUA in to equalise for Tuvalu but the shot flies wide
67′ – Cross by ZAVERONI is headed over by TETAVAHI
67′ SUBSTITUTION Tuvalu- 7. Papua FAGOTA is replaced by 14. Peniuna KAITU
71′ – GOAL DISALLOWED – Tahiti have the ball in the net again but its ruled out for offisde
74′ SUBSTITUTION Tuvalu – 9. Mati FUSI is replaced by 20. Viliamu SEKIFU
74′ SUBSTITUTION Tahiti – 18. Axel WILLIAMS is replaved by Auguste WASHETINE
82′ – Tahiti shoot at goal but saved by Jay TIMO
83′ – SUBSTITUTION Tuvalu 13. Fulisagafou HAUMA replaced by 10. Semese ALEFAIO
84′ – Tahiti shoot for goal through Auguste WASHETINE
86′ – YELLOW CARD Tuvalu 16. Imo FIAMALUA
88′ – GOAL! TUVALU EQUALISER! Substitute Viliamu SEKIFU has equalised for Tuvalu to cause the biggest shock of the XIII South Pacific Games – Samoa 2007!!!
90′ – The referee blows for fulltime – it’s a shock result here in Apia: Tuvalu 1, Tahiti 1!