Photo Credit OFC Media via Christophe Fotozz
The battle of the two French-speaking teams has ended in a highly entertaining goalless draw at Stade Pater in Papeete.
It was a tight affair from the outset. The visitors New Caledonia made the early running from the kickoff and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the opening quarter. Tahiti looked dangerous on the break and in front of a vocal home crowd, Hereana Brothers was a constant menace down the right-hand flank.
The Tahitian team grew in confidence as the half progressed and created several half chances without directing any shots on target to threaten Alesié Adjou in the New Caledonia goal.
Then on 34 minutes Tewila Tagi was put through on goal with a glorious chance to break the deadlock. But the advancing Adjou just did enough to force Tagi to shoot just wide. A minute later Nora Leodolter’s left foot shot was comfortably saved by Adjou. Tahiti ended the half just about on top.
The New Caledonia side featured two players from the AS Academy Féminine squad that won the inaugural OFC Women’s Champions League title in June in Port Moresby: Cécilia Waheo and Henako Wahnawe, with both players heavily involved in the action.
The visitors were denied twice first Wahnawe brought out a brilliant save in the 52nd minute by Tahitian keeper Oferina Taerea. Five minutes later a stinging left foot shot from Waheo crashed against the post in the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock.
The game really came alive and Tahiti captain Haranui Le Gayic fired just wide of the upright a minute later for the home side. But try as they might in the final quarter both sides couldn’t find a way through, and the game ended in a goalless stalemate.
Both sides take a point from the match with Tonga top of the Group following their impressive 5-1 win over the Solomon Islands in the tournament opener.
New Caledonia: 0