Tonga have caused a major boilover in sizzling Samoa by pipping the hosts 3-2 to reach the final of the Oceania U-20 Women’s Championship.
Kilifi Ueles’ Tongans will meet New Zealand for a place at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia after the pre-tournament favourites reached Saturday’s final with a 5-1 win over Papua New Guinea in today’s other semifinal.
Tonga will enter the final as overwhelming underdogs after being beaten 16-0 by New Zealand in a warm-up to the World Cup qualifiers before suffering a 7-0 loss in their Group A match in Apia.
But those results were forgotten as Tonga celebrated their upset over Samoa who had won a pre-tournament friendly between the sides 2-1.
Tonga opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Karen Utaatu scored from the penalty spot after Penateti Feke had been chopped down in the box by Samoan defender Luisa Tagamoa.
But Tonga’s lead lasted just six minutes when Faavae Taumua equalised to send Samoa to halftime at 1-1.
Samoa starlet Suitupe Tafafa then sent the vocal local crowd into raptures when she made it 2-1 in the 56th minute after beating outstanding Tonga goalkeeper Siaila Laakulu in a one-one-one situation.
An action replay of Tonga’s first goal followed with Feke again brought down in the box by Tagamoa. Utaatu duly converted from the penalty spot for a second time to equalize in the 61st minute.
After setting up Tonga’s first two goals, Feke then scored the winner when she pounced on a defensive mistake by Josephine Ane to race away and beat Samoan goalkeeper Kalaponi Leato.
Meanwhile, New Zealand eased into the final despite conceding their first goal of the World Cup qualifying tournament.
Left winger Caitlin Campbell scored a hat-trick inside 18 minutes to make the semifinal save for New Zealand.
But the Kiwis were placed under pressure when goalkeeper completely missed a clearing kick to present Jennifer Leo with an open net in the seventh minute.
Captain Kirsty Yallop sent New Zealand to halftime with a 4-1 buffer when she chipped PNG goalkeeper Matilda Tomalin in the 40th minute. Tomalin had to be carried from the pitch after a heavy collision with Yallop just after the Kiwi had fired off her shot.
The second half was a case of hit and miss from New Zealand who had only Ali Riley’s stoppage time tap-in to show for 36 shots on goal.
Saturday’s final is scheduled for 3.30pm (Apia time). The playoff for third between Samoa and PNG kicks-off at 1pm.
2006 Oceania U-20 Women’s Championship
Match-day 5 results –
New Zealand 5 (Caitlin Campbell 6, 9, 18; Kirsty Yallop 40, Ali Riley 90) Papua New Guinea 1 (Jennifer Leo 7). Halftime: 4-1.
Samoa 2 (Faavae Taumua 11, Suitupe Tafafa 56) Tonga 3 (Karen Utaatu 5 pen, 67 pen; Penateti Feke 73). Halftime: 1-1
Match Day 6 draw
Final – Tonga v New Zealand, 3.30pm
Playoff for 3rd – Samoa v PNG, 1pm.