PNG women go on goal rampage

Both matches took place at the Stade PLGC and were witnessed by a healthy crowd, particularly the day’s second clash between the hosts and their traditional rivals.
With confidence high after an excellent 3-0 victory over Solomon Islands in their opening match, New Caledonia were warm favourites going into the meeting with Tahiti and the fans were still streaming in well after kick off with expectations of another win.
But Tahiti had clearly not read the script and arguably enjoyed the better of the match, expecially in an impressive first-half showing that nearly brought a goal on several occasions. Patrice Flaccadori’s charges did have the ball in the net in the opening minutes when New Caledonia goalkeeper Beatrice Toluafe misjudged a long-range Mohea Hauata free kick but the strike was ruled out for a foul on the custodian.
Another chance arrived in the 20th minute when a Maima Marmouyet corner caused chaos in the New Caledonia box but no Tahiti player could force it home in the goalmouth melee that followed.
Tahiti striker Heimiri Alvarez then had the best opportunity of the half just a few minutes later when she raced clear and went one-on-one with Toluafe but dragged her shot wide.
The sides exchanged several half-chances in a passionately-played second period but could not take full advantage of them and had to settle for a share of the spoils.
The result is a much better one for New Caledonia as it keeps them undefeated and in a good position to go through. Tahiti, who lost 1-0 to defending champions Papua New Guinea on the opening day, must now look to get something from both of their remaining matches, against Solomon Islands and American Samoa to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
The scorers had a lot more work to do in the other Group A match played today as Papua New Guinea put eight goals past American Samoa in the latter’s opening XIV Pacific Games outing.
Papua New Guinea did not appear to be firing on all cylinders in the first-up 1-0 win over Tahiti but their game certainly clicked this morning as they carved out a host of chances and could well have won by more.
Sandra Birum scored twice in the opening half hour, before her match was rudely interrupted by injury, while strikes to captain Miriam Lanta, Ramona Morris, Deslyne Siniu, Janie Nori, Ara Midi and an own goal rounded off the scoring.
The tournament does not get any easier for American Samoa as they have to face New Caledonia next on Wednesday while Papua New Guinea are not in action again until their crunch match with the hosts on Friday.
Tahiti will meet Solomon Islands on Wednesday in a clash that has shaped up as a must-win for both sides.


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