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Goalfest on Match Day 2 in Tahiti

Tahiti's Tearii Labaste shoots. OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup 2019, Tahiti v Tonga (Phototek)

Tiki Toa put on a beach soccer masterclass in front of their home crowd to brush aside tournament debutants Tonga while Solomon Islands were pushed all the way by their Melanesian rivals Vanuatu in a six goal thriller.

Vanuatu 2 : 4 Solomon Islands

The opening match of the day reignited the longest standing rivalry in OFC beach soccer history and the battle between the Melanesian giants proved to be an entertaining affair.

While Vanuatu were looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat to the hosts on the opening day, the well-organised Solomon Islanders needed three points to get the jump on Tahiti.

Solomon Islands again based their early efforts on the solid defensive platform laid by the back pair of Allen Farobo and Roy Mafane and early balls into veteran forward James Naka, but as with the opening match on Day 1, they found themselves frustrated by a determined opposition.

Vanuatu were going toe to toe with Bilikiki creating some good chances of their own until Mafene – just as he did yesterday – broke the deadlock in the second period to give Solomon Islands the edge.

From Naka’s throw to the back post, Max Fa’ari headed across the goal for an easy finish for the Solomon Islands defender.

The match really came alive in the third period when Kevin Kiopala gave Gideon Omokirio’s side a two goal cushion, the number nine firing home a rebound from the edge of the penalty area.

Vanuatu stayed in the hunt thanks to a powerful free kick from the increasingly influential Don Mansale. The Bilikiki restored their two goal lead almost immediately, when Fa’ari finished superbly past Seiloni Iaruel.

Vanuatu weren’t finished yet – Ivong Wilson replying with a well struck direct free kick from wide out to set up a grandstand finish – before McPhillip Aisa steered home at the back post in the dying moments to secure three points for a relieved Solomon Islands outfit.

Tahiti 23 : 1 Tonga

Tahiti set the tone for a record breaking scoreline when Patrick Tepa sensationally volleyed home from the kick off.

Thereafter Tahiti’s composed, aerial dominance was the telling factor and they quickly went out to a four goal lead thanks to further goals Raimana Li Fung Kuee, a second from Tepa and from one Teaonui Tehau.

Tonga pulled one back in the fifth minute, conjuring up their own slice of magic, when Alimoni Kaufusi spectacularly chipped Jonathan Torohia for Tau Tahi’s historic maiden goal in international beach soccer.

Tearii Labaste chimed in with two goals and Tepa had his hat-trick to round out the scoring in the opening period.

A shell-shocked Tonga, were struggling to get a foothold in the sand, and went to the break feeling the full effect of Tiki Toa’s power.

There was no let up for Tonga, as the rampant Tahitians added another six goals in the second stanza courtesy of three more from Tepa, a further strike from Labaste, and two from Gervais Chan Kat.

Tahiti saved the best until last, in an incredible final period, scoring ten unanswered goals.

Particularly impressive were two further strikes from skipper Li Fung Kuee and two perfectly executed scissor kicks by Heimanu Taiarui. Chan Kat, Angelo Tchen and Labaste each added two more to finish off a tiring Tongan side.

As Tiki Toa enjoy a mid week break on Matchday 3, Tau Tahi have less than twenty-four hours to recover, before they face another daunting challenge against the unbeaten Bilikiki.

Later in the day, both Vanuatu and New Caledonia will go in search of their first points of the tournament.

Upcoming Matches

Wednesday, 19 June
Parc Aorai Tini Hau, Papeete, Tahiti
KO: 14:00
LIVE STREAM : http://bit.ly/2ITlFX4

Wednesday, 19 June
Parc Aorai Tini Hau, Papeete, Tahiti
KO: 16:00
LIVE STREAM: http://bit.ly/2ITlP0C


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