Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek
Samoa scored a penalty with the final kick of the game to seal the three points on the first match-day at the Olympic Football Tournament – Oceania Qualifier in Apia.
Samoa dominated much of the opening stanza and came close to scoring through a well hit free kick from Sasjah Vikolia Dade.
It was well saved however by Samoan goalkeeper Xeyana Salanoa, one of three Salanoa sisters in the Samoan squad.
10 minutes into the second half Vanuatu nearly hit the front when Diana Sine got in behind the defence but from an acute angle fired into the side netting.
Down the other end Xevani Salanoa in space down the flank forced a good save from Nettie Kalsau in the Vanuatu goal. Her sister, substitute Xehlia Salanoa fired just wide minutes later after a beautiful through ball from Torijan Lyne-Lewis.
Samoa continued to push forward and create chances but on numerous occasions fired long range shots over the crossbar.
20 minutes from time they had another golden opportunity to open the scoring when Leah Manuleleua was through one on one with the goalkeeper, but her touch was a little heavy and the ball went out of play. Leimata Simon then headed just wide for Vanuatu in the dying minutes and the match ended scoreless.
With seconds left on the clock, Leah Manuleleua was presented with the perfect opportunity to secure the win for her side from the penalty spot after Limas Erikan took out substitute Sariah Taeaoalii in the box.
Manulelua made no mistake, lashing the ball into the corner for a crucial victory for the host side.
Samoa: 1 (Leah MANULELEUA (P) 90+5′)
Determined to make amends for a disappointing Pacific Games campaign on home soil last year, the Solomon Islands have held the champions in Honiara, Papua New Guinea to a 1-1 draw at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament-Oceania Qualifier in Apia.
The Batram Suri coached side took a first half lead on a sweltering afternoon contest at the FFS Football Stadium in Tuanimato.
In an opening half of few clear-cut chances, the Solomon Islands went ahead in the 30th minute when Lorina Solosaia slotted home for the opening goal.
Captain Ileen Pegi, usually deadly in front of goal, missed a golden chance to double the lead in the 57th minute, when after PNG goalkeeper Faith Kasiray fumbled a cross, she fired over the cross bar instead of placing the ball into the unguarded net.
It proved to a be a crucial miss as 12 minutes later PNG conjured up an equaliser.
Solomon Islands keeper Margaret Kofela rushed off her line but failed to get to the ball before PNG’s Keren Kalapai lobbed into the net.
PNG continued to surge forward in search of a winner. Marie Kaipu had a couple of late efforts well saved by Kofela, and the game finished level with everything to play for in their remaining Group A matches against Fiji and American Samoa.
Papua New Guinea: 1 (Keren KALAPAI 69’)
Solomon Islands: 1 (Lorina SOLOSAIA 30’)